This is the first step to teaching the child everything he needs to know to be a responsible bystander. In a self-aware society, there are three levels of responsibility depending on what the child does or doesn’t do.
The first level is “observing” the behavior. This is where the child notices his own behavior. The idea is that by observing his own behavior, he should be able to learn how to behave. A child who sees his parent drive into a tree and break the window is able to learn better to avoid that same mistake.
The second level is “watching” the behavior. This is where the child gets a glimpse of the behaviors of the parent. The result is that the child can learn about these behaviors, and can understand why he’s been given such bad treatment.
A child who just sees his parent get into a heap of trouble for crossing a road is given the opportunity to learn what he can do to avoid such behavior in the future.
If you are walking down the street with your toddler, you can do a lot of things to avoid getting run over by a car, but you can’t avoid getting run over by a tree.
The child learns that being ignored and not getting a phone call or not receiving any sort of text message is a sign of a child who is failing in some area of life.
This is a common theme in parenting books. I’m sure you have read the book, “The Giving Tree,” by Susan Cain. I believe it was the first book that I had ever read that really put this idea into perspective. It focuses on one parent who is raising a child who is being treated terribly by his parents. One parent says to the other, “You have to let me do the parenting and I’ll do the parenting.
But for a lot of parents, including me, the idea of “letting” someone do parenting is a lot to ask. The problem is that most of the time that we do not have the tools to do the parenting, so we end up doing it ourselves. Sometimes we do it in our own way; other times we do it in ways that we don’t understand, or we do it in ways that are not the best ways.
The idea of the bystander education is pretty good though, because it provides information on how to deal with people who are not going to learn. The reason it’s good is that we have better education than anyone else.
The problem is that the people who are most likely to give up on their parenting are also the people who don’t have a clue what to do or how to do it. We’ve had this conversation before, and the answer is that they don’t need to be educated because they don’t have the tools to learn them. The trick is to give them some. We call this bystander education because it is something that you do without knowing what you are doing.