Do you ever think that you are being watched? I know I am. Every day there are two people watching me. Big Brother, or maybe his Little Sister. They take notice of, and absorb everything I do. Nothing is missed, everything is noted. Do I sound paranoid? You should be aware of this too. If you have children, you are being watched.

You are your children’s most important teacher, you are the one who will teach them how a person should behave. So behave in a manner that is appropriate. In no way am I perfect, but I know when I am wrong and I try to change. All we can do is check ourselves; if we do wrong, then try better next time. So why do so few people care?

I guess I only began to notice it when I became a parent. When you spend more time with children and their parents, you begin to notice how they behave. And maybe realise why so many children behave badly, can’t concentrate and don’t follow the rules. Because their parents can’t and don’t either.

Let me relay a recent interaction I witnessed in a national park, between parents and their son. The father jumped across a small stream, almost landing on the sign which prohibited being on that side of the stream. “Come on son, jump”, said the father. Now the son was confused and said, “But Daddy, we aren’t allowed on that side of the stream”. He, at least, cares about the rules. “I know, jump”, the father continued. At this stage, along comes the mother. “You’re not allowed on that side of the stream”, she says to the father. What does he say? “I know, come on son, jump”. My wife and I were standing as open-mouthed witnesses to this scene. But so, thankfully, were my children. They don’t just follow the rules blindly, they understand the reasons for them.

So what will happen to that boy. Hopefully he will be a totally decent human being in many ways. But he will, more than likely, be selfish and only care about his own enjoyment, just like his father.

But, of course, it is not only our children who are watching. The entire world is watching. Do something nice and maybe someone else will see it and do the same. Pick up other people’s rubbish and before you know it, others may do it also. And we will live in a cleaner, and happier world.

This isn’t new information, it has been discussed in many places before. But it is easy to forget. So just a little reminder, you are being watched.

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

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