Your Child is Absorbing Much More Than You Realize…
Parents tend to behave just ‘anyhow’ in front of their babies/young toddlers because they believe that these little ones are unable to fully comprehend what happens in their environment.
Hence, in the presence of their little ones, we have parents having sex, using foul language, sharing inappropriate jokes, watching inappropriate movies, hosting/attending inappropriate parties, getting impatient or aggressive, having intense and perhaps abusive quarrels/fights with each other etc.
They comfortably do all these in the presence of their 6-month old, 12-month old, 18-month old… After all, how much of ‘everything’ could the little ones possibly comprehend? Or, okay, even if they do comprehend, how much of ‘everything’ can they possibly retain?
Well, in response, I will share my own personal experience…
My little boy had never been a TV person. As in, you know there are some babies/infants you can distract with ‘televison’? Well, let’s just say that my boy never quite fell into that category of children. That’s right, nothing on TV seemed able to hold his attention for more than 5 seconds.
However, on one particular day, an unsuspecting me tuned the TV to the show PJ Masks and I was quite surprised to see my son totally blown away by the little superheroes even though, in reality, the show had been intended for his older sister. Yes, I was trying to revive her old love for PJ Masks.
You see, just about 8 months ago, my daughter and my husband fell in love with PJ Masks. Actually, it became their ‘thing’. They gave each other and the ‘rest of us’ character names from the show and whenever the theme song came up, they would both jump up and start their ‘dance’.
I never quite could be bothered by their noisy act and I assumed that my son, who was a little less than 1-year old at the time, was on the same page as me. Yes, whenever they got noisy, I used to think that my son was as uninterested as I was, by their very loud and disturbing drama.
Anyway, fast forward to a few weeks later, as with many other shows, daddy and daughter got over PJ Masks. They moved on from ‘it’ and little was heard about the super heroes again.
But, alas, 8 months down the line, as I tried to get my daughter off my back, using this old ‘love’ of hers as bait, I got to discover that it was actually my son who was captivated by superheroes, PJ Mask. Yes, while my daughter appeared unimpressed, my son was all over the place, dancing and what have you.
To be honest, I was really surprised by son’s reaction because at the time when PJ Masks was a ‘hit’ in our home, I had assumed he was still in that ‘ignorant’ phase of life. I didn’t realize that he had not only been observing the energetic ‘daddy-daughter’ PJ Masks moments but soaking in and absorbing ‘everything’. I didn’t realize that not only was he drawn to their ‘drama’, he was also taking notes of his own.
Hence, months later, when the time was right by him, he began showing off an adopted ‘love’ he had been unable to earlier express. Yes, he had been ‘influenced’ even without us realizing it.
So, yes, whenever you’re tempted to think that your little ones are just passively observing what you do and say, think again. Understand that every little, unassuming word and action that they are exposed to gives room for the potential formation of mindsets and habits, whether they be positive or negative.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net