The Wig Catcher
In it I told a story about helping an elderly womyn
retrieve her wig that was blowing in the wind.
In reflecting upon that experience
I realized there were more lessons to be had.
The Instinct to Help Another
As soon as I saw that wig flying across the driveway
and the elderly womyn chasing after it,
my instinct to help took over
and I immediately ran after it.
Setting an Example
One important part of springing into action like I did
was the example it was setting for my daughter.
She was with me and witnessed the entire experience.
Teaching by example is my preferred method for
imparting important life lessons to my child.
Rather than lecturing, correcting, teaching or even guiding,
being an example of the lessons I want to share
I find to be the deepest, subtlest and most effective way.
Avoiding The Lecture
After saving that woman’s wig
I did not lecture to my daughter about
the importance of doing good for other people.
I think that was obvious in my action
and in granny’s extremely gratitude filled reaction.
I also did not tell her about
how good it feels to help other people
except to authentically share
my own experience in the moment by saying
“Man that felt good.”
Let The Example Stand On Its Own
Either of those potential lectures
would have actually decreased the
effectiveness of that moment.
I have done my best to always demonstrate the quality of
the desire to help other people in front of my daughter.
Doing this since she was a very small child means
she has been surrounded with that example
from her most impressionable age.
This is true teaching by example
and something that I constantly aspire to.
Teaching By Example is Very Challenging
There are of course a couple of
extremely difficult aspects to this principle.
The first is that in order to teach by example
we must actually embody the characteristics we wish to impart.
This means devoting oneself to a life of
constant self-development and self-improvement.
This is why more than half of my blog posts are about
spirituality and self-development,
because they are truly the core of conscious parenting.
The second difficult part about teaching by example is
having the patience to allow our children to absorb the lesson
in their own way
and in their own time.
It means letting them make mistakes and falter along the way
while being there to support them as they do.
It means loving them and accepting them
even when they act in opposition to these ideals.
Trusting that this is in fact part of the process
of their own self development.
Lead Me Not Into Temptation
The temptation to lecture, correct,
control and even complain is very strong,
but if we can avoid it
we are allowing them to grow and develop naturally.
If we believe that our children really are good people
and that they have these qualities inside them
then we must also have the confidence that
they will learn through our example.
I Love Communication
Of course I am NOT saying we should not talk to them about things.
I am all for communication and collaboration.
It’s just that there are some things that are better taught by example.
When we can identify these things it is most beneficial for us
to have the patience and confidence to let the example stand on its own.
If you can do this, your children will also feel
your confidence in them and it will actually
inspire them to new heights
Try An Example Experiment
It might be an interesting experiment
to pick one attribute and just make the commitment
that you are going to teach it through example.
This means working hard to embody the quality
and then demonstrating it on a regular basis.
It also means not lecturing your child
when they act the opposite
and trusting that they will learn the lesson
by following your example
Whatever characteristic you are trying to pass on
they will absorb into their being
through observation and experience.
Give a Good, Long Timeline
If you’re trying this for the first time
I recommend giving the experiment a full year
Before you decide whether it’s working or not.
Any less than that and there may not be enough time
For the lessons to sink in deeply.
It can be too easy to think it’s not working after a week,
a month or even a few months.
If you can avoid lecturing for a full year
and consistently embody and demonstrate
the new attribute you wish to pass on
you will soon see a wonderful transformation take place.