Modeling Behavior for Children


We’ve all heard it; children will model after their parents and caregivers. This can be good and bad. I’ll never forget how my road-rage-induced fowl mouth influenced my son’s vocabulary. Yep, I let the f-bomb fly. Nice modeling, right? The next time we were on the freeway, he yelled the f-word when we hit traffic. Think quick, redirect, I thought.

“That’s right, a truck!” I praised. “Trrruck, trrruck, trruck,” I said emphasizing the “tr” sound. He looked a bit confused, almost unbelieving, but he was too young to express his thoughts. Not a proud moment of mine. At least the mini crisis was averted.

Here’s a more positive experience I had with modeling. This past week, my son got on my husband’s computer to write a book—a Train to Read book! As a kindergartener, he’s learning many phonetic and sight words, and was able to create a little story with the few dozen he’s learned. When he completed writing, he announced, “Now it’s time to send it to the illustrator.”

Uh, no. Not when we can find clip art for free.   

And that’s how this little book came to be. I am one proud mama that my son has briefly fallen into my footsteps, although he’s warned me it’s temporary. He still wants to be a train engineer.

Nonetheless, I love his little book and all of the mileage we can get out of it. He can turn it in as “holiday homework” when school resumes and proudly give it as a gift to family and friends. Not to mention it served as this blog post, it’s a wonderful keepsake for our family (and represents a shining moment of mommy modeling).

Here is the text from his book. You can view it with images under the “book” link on the blog.

I Can Go….

by Noah Gipson

I can go to the store.

I can buy food and toys.

I can go to the mall playground…and play.

And I can go to the park.

the end.

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