The influence you have on your children
Have you ever wondered why your child wants to use your phone so much? Or why your a baby loves playing with your keys.
To you, you are their world – You have a bond together like no other. You have just made an extension to your selves. This little thing is half of you and half of your partner and they spend the first portion of their life firmly attached to one or both of you.
Imagine you had just been born. (From the point at which you were all cleaned up!) You have no idea what to make of what’s going on around you in fact, you are not even aware that there is something to be made of, or even that you should be comprehending that you are not aware of something that you had no idea you had to be aware of. Confusing right!? As it is for them.
As your awareness blossoms, it seems you have an unexplained connection with two things that are often around you (later to be known as mum and dad) These things make you feel safe. Warm. Not to mention one feeds you whenever you make that noise you have already harnessed – crying.
What you learn is that when you cry you will solicit their appearance. No matter if for food, cuddles, problems or attention (just because). They are always there, doting on you, doing things around you and helping you out.
You will find yourself watching and observing these things constantly, so to hell with it – you decide to make them your new role models.
In short, if you could remember it, it is a scary but exciting time for a developing infant.
From the beginning of their life you are everything to your baby. How you act, talk move, walk, do, laugh, cry, sleep, eat and repeat around them will wear off on them – very quickly. You have such power in your hands, as does everybody who surrounds your baby. The tiniest of things can influence some people for their whole lives but equally it can also take years of training to create habits like getting your 8 year-old to load the dishwasher. (Convenient that!)
It is very important to understand the role of influence that you as a parent can have on your child.
Just by eating the right food in front of them, they will watch and observe – if it is ok for you, it is ok for me. The more you tell people that you don’t like vegetables, the more they will not like them too. They want to be just like you. Similarly, if you If you tell people when your child is in earshot that your son or daughter is a fussy eater then…well…. that’s what they will be.
Naturally some children will have a shorter fuse than others, that’s just who they are but if they see you go off into a blind swearing rage just because you stubbed your toe then they will do exactly the same. Trying to imitate your reaction, which unfortunately might also include some swear words too.
I am reminded of one particular story every Christmas about how, when I was 4, I ended up cussing at both my mum and granny for making me carry the shopping up the garden. ‘Bloody women’, I kept saying as I was taken away from tree climbing to be loaded up with shopping to carry to the top of the garden. Needless to say my father got a good scalding from both his mother in law and wife.
You are only trying to upload a selfie of you and them but they keep clambering for your phone. Just let me post this picture to Facebook so everyone can see we are having fun. Then I will scroll through a few posts and see what my friends are up to too. Sound familiar?
You are on your phone a lot, and, as with food, if it’s good enough for you…..
Another scenario I see time and time again is a parent out for a walk with their child, buggy in one hand, mobile phone in the other. More often than not, the child is more than capable of walking and exploring the park around them but the unfortunate infant is tied up and whenever the strain to see you, they see you on your mobile phone.
It is important to understand the responsibility that you have as a parent or primary caregiver, your influence on another’s life is so substantial because children are so impressionable but don’t forget, they might just like the sound of the jangling keys.