February 16, 2016
  • Opinion

OPINION: Teach by example

OPINION: Teach by example
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By The West View

I recently saw a post floating around on Facebook. It was a picture of a child folded over an adult’s lap getting a spanking. The words associated with this picture were all about bringing a “good ole spanking” back, and the approval of it.
This was disturbing to me, because I was a child who was raised with “good ole spankings” that turned into beatings on a daily basis. My first thought was, “What about the kids? Is anybody seeing the flip side of this scenario?” I feel the need to speak for abused children, and bring more awareness to this issue – from the eyes of a child.

According to my parents, my spankings were deserved. According to me, they were not! Maybe they thought, “The more of a beating, the more of an impression.” But where do we draw the line here?

There was no communication between my parents and me, but if I could have expressed my feelings to them, this is what I would have said:

“When you tell me over and over again how bad I am and then punish me to prove it, these words and actions have strong repercussions on me; they break my spirit. I feel unloved. I feel rejected by the people I depend on most, and the more this happens, the more I see myself as a failure.”  

I still carry these feelings deep inside to this day. As an adult, I believe that from the earliest of ages our children need to experience safety and comfort from the individuals that have complete control over them. Their self-confidence should be built up, not torn down.

Example is the teacher with the most impact, so I say:

If you want your child to learn love, show it.
If you want your child to learn kindness, show it.

If you want your child to learn violence, show it.

If you want them to learn awareness, honesty, responsibility, show it.

I say, “Be careful” and I mean that literally. Show your children the world you have created for them with care and gentleness. Be careful of what you introduce to their memories. On some conscious or unconscious level, children remember everything they see, everything they experience. They need to experience a sense of “unlimitness” as much as they can. Teach them what it means to be aware of other people's feelings and how important it is to be respectful of the different paths that other people take.

I say, find a way to expose your children to the good in life. It's hard to do in a society that exploits and glorifies the ugliness of violence on a daily basis. We see it everywhere: in books, films, photos, video games, TV programs. Rarely do we see the beautiful acts of love. So when we do see the beauty in life, glorify that. Introduce something good to those precious memory banks. Give your children a foundation of true inner strength.

For those who want more in-depth scientific studies on this subject, please refer to these websites:

Vivian Jepperson is the mother-in-law of Publisher/Editor Charlotte Fife-Jepperson and lives in Spring City, Utah with her husband, Garth, their two dogs, several ducks and chickens. She recently started a blog at www.gratitudeblast.com.