Monday, 1 November 2010
Imitation or the art of passing the good things along
I am realising, in my short carreer as a mom, how imitation is something (most of the time) good. Necessary, Useful in fact. Having read a lot about Montessori and Waldorf, I have come to see imitation as a important part of being a parent. A tool in the toolbox that should not be forgotten, but used and repeated until it becomes an automatism, for you and for the kids. Looking back, it amazes me how many tasks or transition I am able to perform now with my child without having to go through the battles that I used to.(Brushing teeth anyone?)How many things have my kids picked up simply by looking at us. I have been grateful for this lesson that I have learned quite early when I became a mom, but that I didn't use enough as first, not knowing it's real power.
But I have come to realize in the last few days how imitation is even stronger then that. Imitation works in a way more deeper level, one that will touch my children's lives for a long time, and that will even shape who they are and what they believe, even at the ages of my own children, that are preschooler. Imitation shapes beliefs, values, and ways of doing things. And if anything, although I always thoughts values were something that was learned later in life, I think now that they are absorbed while they are little. When they got older, they get to a point where they can change their values if they feel like they don't mean anything to them, but the first set of values are the one they internalize. How beautiful and yet so scary is that??
That means that everything we say and do, becomes the groundwork of what my children will be, will feel or how they will see things. They will build the rest on that basis, the one they are living in right now and just swallowing in. If we never get to have dinner as a family, and we are always eating on the go, my kids will see this as being "normal" and will find strange to have friend that love to attend dinner with their family. We are currently teaching them what will be their "normality"
I have become more aware of this as I saw my 3yo stroll along with her baby on her back last week. Since I am fairly busy in trying to get ready for this big move, I have been BabyWearing a lot lately. She saw me, day after day, gettingPumpkin on my back, and start to work in the house. And the first thing I know, she wants to do just the same. I am pround to be teaching those values to my kids. Glad that this is a normality for them, just like breastfeeding will be. Just like attachement parenting will be. I am happy to have this 3rd LO of ours, so that my 2 oldest are really experiencing and seeing how we think child rearing should look like. And I can see they are taking it in. When I see my oldest caring for his baby brother the way we do, I see how powerful imitation really is, and how it is shaping him to act with little babies, and also with others. I feel proud to see my children taking in these values, ones that I didn't grow up with, but that I am trying to make mine through work, reading, and time. And yet, it reminds me how each of my words, each of my action, state of mind are important when I am with them. They might be really little still, but they are fully aware of so many things that we think go unnoticed.
food for thought!
have a great nov. 1st!