31st Aug, 2022

On children and behavior

I thought about the behavior of children today. Especially the kinds of behaviors in children we might not like. I think it might be all our fault.

I want to say a few things before I go on, because I’m afraid that this might sound wrong if I don’t. It is my strong opinion that it is not a child’s job to be how a parent wants them to be. They do not owe parents a thing for bringing them into this world. I think parents owe their children for bringing them into this world and one of these things it to allow them to be how and who they want to be.

Yet again, there might be certain behaviors that parents don’t like in their children. I can love someone dearly and not like some things they do. It took me a while to realize that.

Back to my point.

Children imitate the people around them. This was a gut feeling I had until a few hours ago that was based on my experience with one child. After reading up on it, I can confirm it is more than a gut feeling.

Over and Carpenter:

One of the most important messages that imitation may convey, however, is “I am like you” or, at a group level, “I am one of you”

Chances are that you as a parent are a person your child spends a lot of time with. This leads me to the idea that, maybe, it might be a good idea to look inwards first if you notice behavior you do not like.

Child screams a lot? How’s the tone in the house?
Child does not want to eat when food is on the table but is hungry half an hour later? How do you eat? Do you take time? Do you yourself eat regularly?

I know that this is
a) hard
b) a naive theory

But maybe give it a try. Here are Over and Carpenter again:

[…] 5-year-olds work to ensure that a model can see their imitation, thus suggesting that their imitation was produced for the model

© 2024 Chris Jarling