Kids get it from their parents/teachers & others!
What do they get? Behaviour!
Over the past week I have made it a point to closely watch those around me. That’s not really a hard task for me because I am by nature a people watcher. My degree program at ETSU wasn’t just built around criminal justice, but around social and behavioral sciences, observing people’s reactions and understanding their body language. This method of reading people has gain popular attention through shows like N.C.I.S. and other shows with lines like “he looked down and to the left,” so he lied type of thing. The study is much deeper than that but not the topic for this blog.
This past week I observed a lady in probably her mid to late 40’s coming out of Walmart with and oxygen bottle. As soon as she stepped out the door she stopped, slid the oxygen port down, and immediately lit up a cigarette. This alone really upsets me but again not the point of this blog. She had with her what looked like her son who was obviously at least 16 years old. Her son pushed the cart straight towards a handicap parking spot where a nice, clean, new, Cadillac set. This car was shining from bumper to bumper and even still had a temporary tag in the back window where they had obviously just bought it. The son had the keys and released the trunk latch and began loading the cart into the truck. When he finished the lady told him to just “push the cart up front next the sign, someone else will get it.” Now what frustrated me is the lady was leaning up against the cart return, they had parked in the last handicap spot next to the return. This mother is teaching her child in my view to be lazy and that it is acceptable and alright to break rules. Even more frustrating is this lady would no doubt be one of the first to pitch a fit if a cart rolled and hit her precious car. Really lady, teach your kid to do the right thing.
Schools and school zones are another area of concern for me, probably more so than Walmart….LOL! I know of 3 different schools in the area that have signs that say “do not enter,” or “wrong way” plainly posted. However, every day I see teachers, parents and others, clearly driving up the wrong way. You have heard the saying, “out of the mouth of babes,” well my son asked me why they are so bent on the rules inside the school, but they break the law everyday outside the school by going the wrong way? What could I say? It’s ok for them to break rules but not you? Remember kids learn by example and some of these same kids will be driving before you know it! And by the way, this has nothing to do with the education part of it. I believe we really do have some of the best teachers in the world right around our area!
Speed zones in schools are a joke as far as I am concerned. Do we need them, definitely and without a doubt! Do people obey them, nope! Unless the county officer (which they do an outstanding job) is out in front most parents don’t even slow down. However, the flashing light of 20 just doesn’t mean when the officer is present, it means when flashing! Well how do I know they are speeding? First of all it’s really obvious, but secondly as part of my military training and while I was a reserve deputy I learned how to guess at speeds. We would set with a radar and watch approaching cars and guess at speeds before we clocked them and after a while I actually got pretty good at it. The sad thing is many of those speeding are parents and teachers. Again, kids learn by example!
During the same time as the schools zones and while speeding guess what many of the parents are doing….texting. I observed one lady with a cigarette in her right hand trying to steer the car, while phone in left hand obviously texting or looking at a website or something which was not even near the stiring wheel, all the while speeding through a school zone, only to turn in at the next school entrance, while having her son in the car. Great example mom, not only to your kid but to others around you!
So, what is the point? Kids observe EVERYTHING we as parents do. Not only do they observe us as parents, but they observe others as well. Even if you are not a parent, there are children, kids, and youth, whatever you want to call them still observing you. What we practice we also preach so to speak. The sad thing is in many of these situations if the roles are reversed those people would be complaining. They lady at Walmart would be furious if a cart hit her nice shiny new car. We punish or get upset at our kids for breaking “do not enter” and “wrong way” laws, especially if they came home with a ticket, yet they get if from those they observe. How would that mother feel, God forbid, if she got a call that her son was involved in a horrific accident due to texting? He learned it from her or others around him. We as parents, teachers, or as a society, have to realize that there are those around us that are watching. We need to obey the rules and laws if we expect our children and that generation to do what is right. Remember, they learn for those they see!