I went on to explain, there are these lessons that are not taught in the conventional way, as with a teacher before a group. But learned just the same. These lessons shape and mold the adults, children become. Lessons instilled by the environments and those who nurture and care for the child. Sometimes the lessons are instilled on purpose, other times these are lessons taught without a realization of what has been done.
Daily, I greet my students and their parents with a cheerful, “Good Morning” making sure to call the child by name as well as address the parent. Many times I am met with a cheerful response. However, there are those moments when the parent refuses to speak, no response at all while their little one is looking them right in the face. They look at me I smile and send forth the greeting again to both as if I felt they did not hear me. The parent engages the child in a dialogue of good bye and then leaves the room, without any acknowledgement of the teacher.
As the parent is leaving I again greet the child, who sometimes continues to try to ignore me. I then explain that when someone speaks to you it is rude not to respond. Children do not realize at such a young age what is put into the Universe comes back to you (karma). My class is taught in the traditional way of learning, when someone is speaking to you respond, listen to their words, because at some moment you will need them to listen to yours.
The sad reality of our society are those lessons which are being learned sometimes without the instructors’ awareness and other times with full knowledge of what is being conveyed. A child referred to an assistant who happen to be a person of color as a monkey. When asked why, the child said that is what my father says. Did dad intend for that thought to be carried in the file drawer of his child’s mind away from the home and then shared?
Then I look on the internet and see a young White child made up in Black face as his family is figuring out his Halloween costume. Whether being done as a joke or with the malice of racism at the root, lessons are being learned.
Our young people are like sponges soaking up what they hear, see, and experience. Show them love thy neighbor and they become adults with a caring, and kind spirit. Show them rudeness, and evil and they become hard hearted.
Gone are the days of that Do as I say, not as I do mentality. Your children are watching not only you but the media you allow them to experience. Parents are the child’s first teachers, what kind of lessons are being taught? They are watching they want to be just like mommy, just like daddy. They sit in my play house with a rectangle block for a phone and a pencil for a cigarette. They tell dolls that they must wait until they get off the phone. They draw pictures of daddy with his favorite drink and when asked what is it they respond, “Hennessey”.
What lessons are being taught? Well, I will finish with this, “Watch what you say and do, because they are doing YOU!”