Editorials by Robert Kirwan

Week of The Child Is Good Time For Adults To Review Lesson Plans

Parenting is an art! Ask any mother or father and they will quickly tell you that there is nothing that fully prepares you for the role, but you soon discover that there is no job in the world that is more satisfying or more challenging. You can purchase any one of the hundreds of books on parenting. You can listen to advice from other parents. You can attend lectures and seminars. But when all is said and done, and all of your strategies and plans have been put into action, your children will be influenced mostly by one thing and one thing only!
  That is a fact! No matter how many educational toys you buy, or how many books you read, always keep in mind that your children are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say!
   Let me illustrate with a little article that was written by a grown up child about her mother.
   “When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.
   When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you put peanuts out for the squirrels, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.
   When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favourite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.
   When you thought I wasn’t looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.
   When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.
   When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don’t.
   When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.
   When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.
   When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but that it’s all right to cry.
   When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you were proud of my accomplishments and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
   When you thought I wasn’t looking, I learned most of the important things I needed to know to be a good and productive person when I grew up.
   And now, as I stand here looking at you lying there in your casket, I know that you are looking at me too and I want to say “Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.”

   Whatever your role in life – parent, guardian, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, or simply as a volunteer working with children – you must always remember that it’s the things we do when we think no one is watching that influence others the most. And believe me, children see everything. They may not see their toys that have to be picked up; or the dishes that have to be put in the sink; or the bed that wasn’t made; or the socks on the floor; but they see what you are doing and how you handle yourself in situations. Children want direction, and they certainly are given direction from parents, teachers, grandparents, etc. But the lessons they learn best are from what parents, teachers and grandparents and other adults around them do - not what they say.
   So remember to keep in mind, no matter what you are doing, that someone is watching. Make sure that what you do or say is something you would want your children to follow. October 1 marks the beginning of the Week of the Child. It’s a good time to review your lesson plans.
Have a good week!


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