So, we have recently become ‘Trekkies’ in our house (not a surprise to those of you who have seen us play ‘Mage Wars’ for 10 hours)! The Man, The Boy and I all sat down to watch another episode and it was surprisingly pretty deep. The plot basically centred around a question we all have (or will) ask ourselves at some point…’should I have a baby’. It wasn’t so much this that got me thinking because, obviously, my answer was yes. It was what one of the characters was wondering that has been on my mind this week…
‘What can I teach my baby?’
What do we want to teach our children? Sure, I can tell him the rules and the way of the world but does me telling him really make all that much impact? I know as a teacher, just telling a child something very rarely teaches them anything at all! It’s the hidden messages that stick.
For instance…we started to feed The Boy solids this week. Before we had even done anything, he took the spoon from me and stuck in straight in his mouth. We hadn’t explicitly shown him what to do, we hadn’t fed him yet. He had just been watching us all this time and had learnt what to do. He is learning so much more from the little day-to-day things that we pay no attention to, than he will probably do from the things we actually directly try to teach him!
What else is he learning from us without us even being aware of it!
This has probably dawned on lots of parents before now! So…what does this mean? Are we supposed to be ‘on’ the whole time; conscious of the choices we make and the hidden messages he gets from them? It’s a dead cert that he is going to see me be argumentative and stubborn…am I going to be damaging his development? He will see us happy and caring, fight and cry and we will have no idea what he is making of it all! Is it important that we show him every beautiful and ugly side of life and how to deal with it as he grows, or should we shield him as much as we can?
Anyway, do we really have control over what we teach him? Do we really have a choice in what he learns!
…I guess only time will tell