Catch them, Young

Dear readers,
It is a pleasure to be able to share with you yet another interesting blog today. I hope you all are faring well.
Today I’ll like us to look at the concept of early training and teaching good morals to kids. I recently had the chance to follow an online seminar on how to homeschool kids and needless to say, I learned a lot.
There were a lot of points discussed during the presentation, however, a couple of things were worthy of note. One very important factor to consider when dealing with kids is that; they do what you do and not what you say. The irony with this is that as adults we expect kids to do what we tell them and somehow think they will not see what we do. This is usually just wishful thinking, as often times than not, kids will do exactly what they see us do.

The concept of catching kids young is basically helping them to grow in various aspects of interest at a very early stage in life. when we try to inculcate good habits or qualities in our kids at an early age, there is a lesser tendency to rebel or refuse to adapt. We can also notice this principle in major disciplines like dance and athletics. Most ballet dancers start off when they are very young because, at that time, the body is soft and pliable. It is easier to get a 4-year-old girl to do splits than asking a 16-year-old. The same principle applies to other habits and qualities. When kids are able to assimilate the discipline required of them to excel at a particular endeavor, then it becomes second nature for them as they grow older.

Not only does it become second nature but because they have spent so much time practicing their art and craft, they naturally fulfill the principle of giving time and attention to become better. There is a saying that to become a Master at something one should do it 10,000 times, others say do it for 10,000 hours. In martial arts, it is said to practice a technique or a Kata at least 10,000 times before moving on to the next one. Of course, in our fast-paced world today, not many people follow this anymore, because everyone says “there is not enough time”.

When kids are introduced to healthy habits at a young age, then as they grow up cultivating those habits, they naturally put in the required hours/time it requires for them to be masters. Let’s say a young girl starts taking ballet classes at 4 and does twice every week, 3hours each session till she is 16. That is 12 years of practice and an approximate total of about 3456 hours. so Imagine how long it takes to get mastery
in good habits. That is barely one-third the 10,000 times mark. This is not to lay too much emphasis on the number of times kids engage in developing good habits, but a means to draw our attention to the fact that the earlier they start the better.
The other aspect of catching kids young is engagement. It is one thing to help them develop desirable qualities at a young age, it is another thing to show them by our actions and also engage in it with them.

If we want our kids to eat healthily and cut back on sweets and sugar, then we must endeavor to provide them and ourselves too with the kind of meal we expect them to eat. If we want our kids to exercise then it has a lot more impact when they see us in shape and keeping fit. If we want our kids to stay off drugs, alcohol, and intoxicants, we have to live a drug-free lifestyle too.
So basically we have to live whatever we preach to them. This principle also and most importantly applies to spirituality. Often times some parents would refuse to teach their kids spiritual practices in the name of allowing kids to make their own decision. The irony is that when this kids grow up and choose to not follow any specific spiritual path, the parents get upset and wonder what happened. The truth is kids are to be guided because they are too young to discern everything for themselves. If we have to help kids with their homework and clothes, things that are so physical, what makes us think they can somehow figure out the metaphysical and spiritual things on their own?
We have to teach them favorable spiritual practices, by our own example and this will go a long way to help them as adults. If they decide to follow another path of spirituality different from the one we showed them as kids, at least it would be from a position of strength and choice and not because they were empty inside and were cajoled into being a part of something. Often times, statistics show that kids who were brought up in a particular form of spirituality with parents who were actively involved, hardly ever strayed away from that part.
Why? because it became second nature.

The bottom line is; whatever good qualities we desire to see in our kids/child etc we need to help them develop it when they are young and flexible. The older they become, the harder it is to show or teach them.
Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

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