Over and over we are told by educators that things are more often “caught than taught.” By repetition and example children experience much of their learning. With a background in child care, I saw this time after time. With children from ages twelve – twenty four months, they often mimicked what I did, such as coughing or blowing my nose! When they begin talking, it seems like they are turning into parrots! Parents will be quick to realize that their children repeat what they have heard at home. With a smile, the usual comment is “I’ve got to be more careful what I say!” Small children copy their parents and their older sisters and brothers. (That is a real bonus with potty training!) A favorite is to copy animals; they love to get down on their hands and knees, then bark like a dog or roar like a lion! At the child care ministry where I worked last, a boy had observed how the friendly janitor pushed the large broom or mop down the long hallway. His Mom said he played with a toy broom, while at a friend’s home. He pushed it all around the room, using the same motions demonstrated many times before!
From my personal memory treasure chest I’ll share one example involving our oldest Grandson, Justin, Granny’s little darling! He is now preparing for his high school graduation. My husband and I were at the military base housing of our daughter, her husband, and their son, attending his third birthday celebration. (He is now eighteen.) He went outside with his Grand Daddy. When my husband sat down on a curb area, he heaved a loud grunt. Grandparents do a lot of that! Right away, Justin sat down beside him, and grunted! We learned a valuable lesson; they do copy us; “Monkey See, Monkey Do!” Even if you have no young children or grandchildren of your own, you would be surprised at how many children may be watching you. It might be at church, or at the grocery store, maybe even in a doctors’ office. Mind your P’s and Q’s! With those in our own families, we are instructed to share our faith in God. (Deuteronomy 6: 4-7) Lovingly repeat stories of Jesus or Bible verses at home or riding in your car. Share in the morning, as they are getting up, and at night, before going to sleep. Remember, they learn by repetition. Just as we teach them the alphabet by the simple “ABC’s Song,” they can learn God’s love with “Jesus Loves Me.” Now, at nearly sixty years of age, I still remember the love of Jesus, shown to me through the lives of a godly Grandma and Grandpa. We must not forget “Monkey See, Monkey Do!”