Behave decently - Children observe and learn from you.

You must behave decently in front of your children because they learn from observing and copying you.

Do you agree or disagree with this statement?


It is a fact that children learn more by observing. Studies everywhere indicate that a child picks up more through observation of the people around them. According to experts, the theory of observational learning states that it does not require reinforcement, but only models to learn. Children observe the behavior of role models and learn by imitating them.

Teaching by example

It is absolutely true that children are keenly observing our every move. Therefore, we must be extremely careful about what we say or do in their presence. If we wish that our children learn good habits and good behavior, we need to keep a tab on our behavior in their presence. According to the social learning theory propounded by Albert Bandura, a psychologist, children imitate what they observe. He also noted that children were more likely to carry out acts of violence that did not have any consequences. The converse is also true. For instance, if a child witnesses another child misbehaving; and getting punished for the bad behavior, she or he was less likely to repeat the same. On the other hand, if the bad behavior was not punished, the observing child was more likely to repeat the action.

So it is in the interest of our children’s future that we watch our words and actions in their presence. Children are very perceptive, if they understand that a particular action is wrong, they understand this. They are mischievous enough to repeat the action, knowing that it is wrong! Similarly, if they see that their parents are short-tempered, and get angry often, they tend to behave similarly. When parents are arguing with each other, children watch and observe. If either parent utters swear words, children easily pick them up. Similarly, it is essential to monitor TV programs, which tend to let loose a lot of unhealthy words. Children might not know the meaning of these words, but they might just pick it up, and start using them.

Children also observer how we handle different people, how we handle different situations. If we are rude to our household helps, or those whom we perceive to be at a ‘lesser’ level than us, our children will do the same thing. If we are unable to handle stress, and react badly when under pressure, our children too will learn from them, and behave in the same way.

So if we want our children to grow up to be responsible and well mannered youngsters, we need to start behaving as well mannered adults. We should avoid socially irresponsible behavior, like trashing public places, breaking road rules, speeding unnecessarily, giving in to road rage, using foul language, among others. We must set a good example for children, and behave in the way we want our children to behave. We should set the ideal example.


To conclude, we must become good role models for our children, to ensure that they turn out to be good children, and grow up to be responsible adults.
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