Nine – Ten Months Old
An Explanation of True Discipline
With the Inquiry: Was that Imitation Worthy?
“If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could be better changed in ourselves.”
The importance of being a healthy, positive imitation-worthy parent/teacher/caretaker
Our children are profoundly connected with the way we act, feel and think. As Maria Montessori says “children are like little sponges absorbing their world.” This soaking up is done primarily through their senses and then they respond with the most active mode of knowing – imitation.
Children take in what meets them as a gesture and they imitate it – the tone of our voice, how we touch, what we look like when we are joyful, what we do when we are frustrated, how we sound when we are angry, all of it. So, then the question is: How to be imitation worthy? This important question supports the true discipline of our children: Am I loving, honest, fair, thoughtful? Similar to what Gandhi said but with a parenting EBIPS flare: ‘Be who you wish your child to become.’ It is as simple and as difficult as that. The most effective discipline of children is for the adults around the children to understand, live and breathe the truth, desire and discipline of healthy, positive imitation-worthy behavior. This capacity for imitation within our children is the key to their emotional, behavioral, intellectual, physical and social (EBIPS) life.
So, the secret to the most beautiful unfolding of our children’s development is in the healthy, positive imitation worthiness of the adults around our children. When we understand the connection between children and their absorption of their surroundings we have the manual to parenthood that we would have appreciated, our children being born with. Much of parenting now becomes obvious.
Contemplation: Each day take time to reflect on whether you were imitation worthy and redo challenging scenarios in your head so that you know how you will do them differently next time.
There is more to motivate us in the development of our healthy, positive, imitation-worthiness, but many do not like to learn this addendum: The issue beyond the imitation worthy concern emotionally and behaviorally for example, of how ineffective it is to yell at children to stop yelling, is what the children’s still malleable physical being absorbs then manifests. The repeated shocks from yelling, screaming and threatening that children absorb into their being, builds up thick protective layers around their souls. This impacts the developing organs including digestion, assimilation, breathing and so on. These angry gesture errors of parents and teachers absorbs into children’s beings, and finds expression, in later years, often as physical symptoms.