I was at the children’s playground one day with my niece and nephew, and being the big kid I am, I decided to climb a tree. You’ll never guess what happened…
There’s no doubting the importance of free range time for children when it comes to learning and discovering the world around them, but I believe there’s something much less spoken about, albeit equally important. Their thoughts, behaviors and beliefs are largely influenced by their parents. Parental actions, words and behaviors play a huge role in kids’ development and are highly beneficial in all aspects of life.
Children are big sponges.
They observe you, the babysitter, the TV.. all the words, beliefs and actions and will mimic a lot of it.
Do you have doubts about this? Then, have you ever seen your child cling to your mobile phone like you do? Or drop the occasional swear word… just like daddy (of course)? Or do something around the house the way you do it?
While we have to watch what we do around these little spies, we can use it to our advantage, to give them a good start in life, physically and mentally. The best part is we really don’t have to teach the children anything! Just be mindful of our own actions and words, let them observe what we’re doing and the lessons we want them to lean, and allow their curious nature to do its thing.
Some positive things that you can deliberately teach your children through allowing them to observe you are:
Less screen time
The importance of outdoor play for children and adults. Remember that the “I’m too big to play” line is burning an impression into their brains
It’s ok to fall over. In fact, you can make it quite a celebrated achievement, and therefore confidence around it, with the right attitude!
It’s ok to get wet and dirty!
How to handle adversity. The “she’ll be right” attitude to help them get over upsetting situations quicker and be less impacted in the future
Empathy for themselves and others
Balancing and agility, jumping, climbing… basically more confidence moving in everyday life
How to build and fix things
More appreciation for nature and the environment
How to form and grow positive relationships
Really the list of positive things you can let your child observe is endless. Children are watching and absorbing information regardless of whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.
We might as well take it into our own hands as much as possible and not the media’s
Oh and about that tree I was climbing… Once I had enough of climbing, I decided to sit down.
I must have left quite a big impression because not long after I’d sat down I noticed the number of kids who left the real playground equipment to climb trees.
It was amazing!
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