These ones do not understand the value of example and its superiority over any other way of instructing the child. Though, I have earlier discussed these ones briefly, I have decided to discuss them in more details and as the last of the threats in the home front because they are the cardinal of all the threats.
These ones do not understand that example is a priceless legacy. I also did not see example as a legacy before I began to find and fight my way out of the impact of an abused childhood. I found that I remember many things, which my parents said but I remember more, what they did. I realised that my life was a direct product of their example. I realised that the greatest liability they left behind was not their poverty. It was their example. As matter of fact, their poverty was part of their example.
Observing, my life through the eye of my childhood and the battle of transformation to responsible adulthood, which I have fought in the last 15 years through the grace of God, I came to the resolutely irresistible conclusion that one example is worth more than one million words. I also concluded that there is no inheritance that can be left for a child better than examples. I see that example sets up the child for greatness or for disgrace. What people call ancestral or generational curses are rooted in attitude, which has been passed from generation to generation and it has become of stronghold of example. It will take a stronger example to undo a prevailing example. I realised that example has a life of its own and produces after its kind.
Now, as I study the intriguing philosophy and psychology of example, I found that it is one of the mysteries of childhood. God created children to learn by example. May I be a bit extreme and yet logical and say that children do not learn except by example. They are not also led except by example. It must first be demonstrated before it is taught. Thus the popular saying, ‘children do not do what you say, they do what you do.’ I love the way Aristotle put it, ‘Character may almost be the most effective means of persuasion.’ I believe this is how it works, our examples create a PRECEDENT OF POSSIBILITY, the PRECEDENT OF POSSIBILITY create a CONSCIOUSNESS OF POSSIBILITY among your observers and a CONSCIOUSNESS OF POSSIBILITY produces an ENVIRONMENT and the ENVIRONMENT incubates and hatch like-behaviour. The book that I read says, Christ was tempted in every way, yet He did not sin. Therefore He became a PRECEDENT OF POSSIBILITY for all desire to live a righteous life.
I see and hear a lot of debate on discipline and child development without definite attention on the meat of the matter: EXAMPLE. Discipline does not take place except by example. A disorganised custodian cannot teach the child to be organised. The true definition of discipline is to help a child to be conscious of his dignity of human person. A custodian, who does not respect his dignity of human person, will not teach the child dignity of human person. Any custodian, who perpetrates any form of abuse against the child loses his right and fails in his duty to discipline the child.
I have asked the question? Which examples have the most lasting impression on the child? It is the examples of his immediate custodians, parents, guardians, teachers/instructors, friends, media, particularly New Media (internet). All these living and non-living entities lead the child by example. These entities are in two categories: the first is the parents and those approved by the parents. It is said that first impression lasts a lifetime. Maria Montessori has informed us that 80% of the personality of the child is formed between ages 2 and 6.
Unknown to the positive example deficient custodians, every virtue and vices are taught by example. Godliness is taught by example, so it ungodliness. Love is taught by example so is hatred. Tolerance is taught by example to is intolerance. Kindness is taught by example, so is unkindness. Wisdom is taught by example so is foolishness. Peace is taught by example, so is chaos. Generosity is taught by example, so is tight-fistedness. Corruption is taught by example, so is honesty. Faithfulness is taught by example, so is infidelity. Loyalty is taught by example, so is disloyalty. Self-control is taught by example, so is indiscipline. Prudence is taught by example, so is wastefulness. Purposeful living is taught by example, so is spur-of-the-moment living. Promptness is taught by example, so is lateness. Strength is taught by example, so is weakness. Boldness is taught by examples, so is fear. Integrity is taught by example, so is crookedness of character. Excellence is taught by example, so is mediocre. Gentleness is taught by example, so is roughness. Inspiration is taught by example, so is discouragement. Graceful words are taught by example, so are harsh words. Calmness is taught by example, so is anxiety. Humility is taught by example, so is pride. Neatness is taught by example, so is messiness. Telling the truth is taught by example so is lying. Optimism is taught by example, so is pessimism. Sexual purity is taught by example, so is sexual impurity. Creativity is taught by example, so is lack of it. Dignity of labour is taught by example, so is laziness. Orderliness is taught by example, so is disorderliness. Successful marriage is taught by example, so is an unsuccessful one. Principles of greatness are taught by examples, so are the principle of self-centred living. The list is endless. Abraham Lincoln says, ‘for a man to train up a child in the way he or she should go, he must walk that way himself and come back to take the child to go with him.’
I beg to sign out here. By God’s grace, I will be back here tomorrow to finish this discussion. Do have an INSPIRED day. I charge you today to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…