The other day I was surfing some of my favourite sites on the web (there are not too many of them) and visited Jack Keifers’ site. He had an excellent post called A Parallel Reality. I commented on the post, and to my surprise his next post was his second Cool Blog Alert. Jack – Thank You! I appreciate the mention on your blog!
Your Beliefs Shape Your Children
As usual, like clockwork every morning I make my rounds – that is, visiting the sites on my blog roll and other sites that I just like to visit to see what has happened overnight. Some of the blogs are on the other side of the world and there is always something great to read.
This morning, James Brausch posted an entry on his site titled Beliefs. It was a great read, but something stuck as I read the post:
We start creating our own beliefs ever since childhood. When we are in our childhood, most of our beliefs came from our parents. They are our closest and best role model to have. Thus, you would notice that people who have a bad family background usually do not have empowering beliefs about themselves. On the other hand, if one comes from nice and healthy family, chances of him becoming successful in life is much higher.
…You can´t continue to watch TV which is a source of many failure beliefs. You must replace that time with a source of positive beliefs…
The reason I bring up these specific quotes is a couple of things I’ve observed at home and the role model I want to be to my son so that he can teach the same to his family (he’s only 4 — so has a few years to go).
Thought / Lesson #1
Everyday I go to work in the morning. I tell my son that I’ll be home by 4:00pm or 5:00pm or even later. He always questions me – “how come you come home so late?” – and the answer is always the same – “if I don’t work, I won’t get paid, and I won’t be able to support you or mom or buy you toys or take you anywhere.”. As always, he replies “oh, ok. But I don’t need lots of toys? I like the toys I have”. Bright kid.
However one day he surprised me.
You see, we’re always mentioning to him to become a doctor. My wife and I are both partial to medicine and specifically pharmacy. In the past we’d always tell him to pay attention and do his homework (we send him for second language classes, plus he attends a Montessori program). He always repies “Yes, I want to work in an office like you so I will pay attention and do my homework.”.
Well one day he said “Dad, I don’t want a job.”. Wow. We were shocked. I looked at my wife, and she looked at me – “You are always at work. I don’t want to work always. I want to stay home but my office will be Canada”. We chuckled. But he made a lot of sense. Why be tied down to living in one place, or region? Why not have Canada, or for that matter the world as your office?
This was quite the shift in him, he’s learned from a young age that work/job means you are away from your family for long periods of time. I’m not sure he quite understands his statement that he wants Canada to be his office — but nevertheless he’s thinking about his surroundings so that gives us more opportunity to instill in him the need to do well in whatever he does so that he has many options available to him when he is older but we will also move him towards thoughts of running his own business — whether that is Internet based or bricks and mortar, the choice will be up to him.
Thought / Lesson #2
But the choices that my wife and I make will be with him for the rest of his life. One big change we’ve made at home is turning the TV off. I won’t get onto a soap box about the evils of TV etc., etc., however we are cutting down his TV time to about 1x or 2x per week — and you know what? He’s able to concentrate on his homework, and on his second language studies and better than ever he is USING HIS IMAGINATION! We have given him hundreds of dollars worth of Lego blocks and for the most part they sat in their original boxes unused. The moment we turned off the TV, he’s using them! He’s building spaceships, trains and cars. He’s learning about the solar system and planets in school, and built the planet Earth with legos (well, at least his version of the planet).
Although the shows we let him watch are on the educational station, he is thinking more independently and is much happier now that we’ve literally taken the TV away from him.
Is TV good? No – study after study says it’s not good for you. It does contribute to things like childhood obesity, and in more recent studies has been linked with ADHD. We can see the effects of TV. It will always be up to you to determine what is good/bad for you and your family. I know what has happened in our family when we switched the TV off. We can teach him our beliefs, not what the producers or writers want to teach.
What kind of beliefs are you imparting on your family?