If you’re a dad who is paying attention, you know that your kids are always watching and listening to how you talk, act and handle situations. It can be startling to think about, but I think the number one model for – and predictor of – your child’s behavior is your behavior and attitudes as a parent.
This reality is captured starkly in this Australian TV spot, which often travels in social media with a message that it’s “so controversial it was banned,” when, in reality, it wasn’t. In fact, the country’s National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect will be airing it for National Child Protection Week in September.
While some of what the “Children See, Children Do” ad depicts is jarring, this spot served as a powerful reminder to me that we, as parents, are a potent influence over our children’s character and actions. There’s nothing quite as convicting as seeing something negative I did or said ‘played back’ to me in the attitudes or behavior of my kids.
Because the content is a bit sensitive and edgy, I suggest watching this when your children are not in the room.
As the video forcefully depicts, I’m not sure the influence we have on our children as dads can be overstated – a topic I’ll revisit in my next post. What do you think?