Have you noticed that what you do is so loud that it overpowers what you say? It’s similar to the proverbial saying: “what you do is more powerful than what you say”. Children in general and boys in particular notice the power in our actions over than the sound in our words. When you tell a boy not to do something that you, yourself do, the boy does not hear anything you say as his eyes are fixed on your actions. That being the case, our boys are more likely to imitate us rather than to listen to us.
If you can agree with my earlier discussion, can you see yourself in your boy’s behaviours? Is it really true then: “Like father, like son”. What do you say if your son does exactly what you do? You should correct him quickly and unequivocally. But is that all you will do? Will you also make a decision to change the way you act, especially when he is in your presence? If you are tardy, would you be offended by your boy’s tardiness? If you do not help in the home, will you scold your boy for not helping with chores? Every bit that we do to help our boys will produce huge rewards. So, I say, let’s show them how we want them to act rather than constantly telling them. Let them be able to say, “I see you” rather than “I hear you”.
Does your boy see you taking time to read books? Does he see you taking time to be with him, and depending on his age, does he notice that his dad leaves everything to play with him? Many times, our boys don’t need too many things from us as much as they need our time. If you work hard for your children; leaving home before they wake in the morning and coming back home after they have gone to bed, do you think that your children will love you more for that than they would if you were physically with them? Although your children need you to bring home the bacon and to ensure that a roof is over their heads and clothes on their backs, they would happily accept less food, less clothes and a leaky roof if their dad is physically with them.
So, here’s the deal. Spend time talking to your children, especially your boy(s). Find out all you can about their lives. Teach them what they need to know or others will and you may not like what they learn from others. Decide to show your children how to do something, rather than telling them how to do it. A Chinese proverb speaks to this approach:
I hear, and I forget; I see, and I remember; I do, and I understand.
Spend time reading with your boy — that way, he may come to like reading (stop telling him to “go to read”. Read with him — you a paragraph and he the other paragraph< and so on). Go bicycle riding with him, go to the park with him, and take him to work with you (never mind it’s a low paying job — as long as it’s legal). Your boy will become what he sees in his parents, especially his dad.
Knowing what you now know, how will you change the way you deal with your boy(s)? A good time to make a change for yourself, your boy, your community, and the world.
Until next time, let’s make a positive change for life.