When there is planting without building, there is no structure in a child’s life. As a result he or she fails to develop properly in the daily aspects of life. But what happens when there is building with no planting?
A parent that focuses solely on building without planting will produce routines for children that are deadening. When schools create curriculum that allow for context-free memorization and value-free skills building, then the hours spent by the children destroy the human potential.
When we teach children, we need to teach them values. Values represent the “why” behind the “what”. In other words, when we eat breakfast in the morning, or we brush our teeth at night, or we’re on time for supper, or return a lost object to its owner, or any of these other elements of the day, we are dealing with the “what”. By explaining why these things are done and not others (such as stealing, lying, etc.) we provide our children (and ourselves) a framework for understanding why we insist on certain behaviors and ban others.
When we’re able to teach children values, we allow them to build purpose and motivation in what they do. When we don’t teach them values, then what they do ends up being purposeless useless drudgery, simply because it has no meaning for them.
Think about it for a moment. Was there ever a time when you were doing something, sometimes every day, and you didn’t know why you were doing it? Then one day you thought about it, and you realized and became aware of why you were doing it, then all of a sudden what you were doing started to have meaning for you.
With this in mind, planting becomes a powerful antidote or a preventive measure to children getting addicted to the internet. When children have proper values, then they can be more capable of making sensible judgments and decisions. They will be less likely to get addicted to elements that are unhealthy or destructive to them (of which parents have to teach them what those are, of course).
Studies have shown that planting the right values can give children a sense of security. Researchers at Emory University discovered that children who were raised in exclusively behavior-oriented environment (meaning the values were not taught alongside the behavior, produced higher rates of helplessness and stress-related symptoms in their children than parents who taught their children values along with the behavior.
So in the end, the critical issue is that parents need to take a two-pronged approach. It’s important for kids to make their beds, do their homework, clean their rooms, eat their vegetables, and other behavioral jobs (which are the building aspect) but it’s just as important to tell the children why they do these things, why these are healthy responsibilities that will help give meaning to their lives, the values behind the behavior. All these routine things can become meaningful and satisfying to children if they are taught the right values…
What we plant (SOW) with our children, we REAP… in all of our Futures!
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