Family · Just my Thoughts

Do Our Children Really Learn from Us?

I remember well those days when my children were little, younger than they are now.  Currently, my six children are mostly all grown.  Four of them are over 21 and the other two are 19 and 15.  The challenges now facing me as a parent are very different than they were 20 years ago.

I always wondered how much of what we/I taught my children in their “formative” years stuck with them.  Then, came last Thursday night.  It was a big day!  Last Thursday was my younger daughter’s, child number four, 22nd birthday and her graduation from the community college she had spent the last few years attending.  We all had dinner together – she requested pizza and wings from a local shop – at my house and then split up as we headed into Binghamton for the Arena for her graduation ceremony.  Broome Community College graduated 1240 students, each walking across the stage where a hockey goal would sit during the AHL season and each hearing his or her name called.

I digress.  The true point of this story is what my children learned, or at least one of them learned, when they were indeed children.  Binghamton is the “big” city for this area.  I had been in Binghamton for the past several weeks on jury duty so I knew where I wanted to park and what it would cost.  I pulled the car into the parking garage, having approached from the right so the turn was not across traffic.  Police were just beginning to appear to direct traffic as there were a lot of vehicles trying to turn left to get into the garage.  These same police officers were trying to direct people to cross the streets – sometimes against the traffic signal, sometimes with it.

My 23 year old daughter started in with cross with the light.  She just kept saying something about it over and over.  Then, she said she remembered it from when she was in first grade.  When she and her twin brother were in first grade, the graduate that night would have been in kindergarten and my oldest would have been in third grade.  We lived a little under a mile from the elementary school the four attended.  To be bused, children had to live over a mile from the school.  I tried to pick them up after school.  This was not always possible.  So, I walked them home one day before school started, carefully explaining that you cross the street with the light.

So, as you are worrying about whether your children will remember the important things, realize they will.

3 thoughts on “Do Our Children Really Learn from Us?

  1. Sometimes these realizations pop up in the least expected times and places, don’t they? You could ask your kids if they learned from you – and they would answer “Of course, Mom,” rolling their eyes. But then there are everyday things that happen and show you they REALLY DO remember what you taught!

  2. Amazing how different kids can be, by nature, isn’t it?

    And so we teach them differently, as we need to. and they do indeed learn from us. The good and the bad. And we hope they retain more examples of good. That we got it more or less right.

    And we take a breath, and keep going. What else is there?

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