You May Not Be Paranoid!
Have you ever had the strange feeling that someone is following you around and watching every thing you do? Well, you may not be paranoid!
If you have children, they are in fact watching your every move...and what is more...they are very likely to imitate your behavior, your moods, and even how you think!
A great deal of high quality research has been done on the phenomenon of Modeling and Imitation, and the results are very clear. Parent's old saying, "Don't do as I do, do as I say", should be thrown out with yesterdays trash.
One of the most important ways in which children learn from others is by watching them, remembering what they do and how they do it (movements, expressions, emotions, what they say and how they say it, etc.).
The list is endless: Children with specific problems very often have parents with the same problems. A few examples of what I am referring to are the following:
* Anger and Aggression
* Temper and Profanity
* Alcohol or Drug Abuse
* Sexual Promiscuity and Infidelity
* School Under Achievement
* Other Irresponsible Behaviors
Of course, there are other causes of these behavior patterns and we have and will continue to talk about them. But, make no mistake about it, for better and worse, our children imitate us and others.
Yes, I said others. This means that we not only should be mindful of our own behaviors around our children, we should also be careful of the behaviors of others that we expose them to. This includes other children and adults in real life and also, the actions that we allow them to be exposed to through the media. Yes, children imitate cartoon characters such as the Simpsons and various celebrities such such as etc., etc., etc..
But the sword cuts both ways. Children will imitate our good behavior as well as our bad behavior----so lets work harder to diminish the bad and show them our best!
Dr. Tom, 1/18/09