Lesson 12 - Speak To Them As If They Understand You Now

Be The Dad You Wish You Had - Ryan Roy

The video below is NOT a word for word reading of the book. It is the author giving a different perspective on the text to help YOU get a deeper understanding of the material

Speak to them as if They Understand You Now – airplane ride at 6 months (Be aware of your surroundings)

This goes along with the previous lesson. As parents, we do not know when they are able to understand; all we can do is feed them the information. When my son was approximately six months old we often traveled on airplanes. We often traveled on early morning flights when people are typically tired. As he and I were walking down the aisle of the plane, I was telling him to be aware of his surroundings. I pointed out that we are in a small space, that many people are going to be uncomfortable in this space, and we would only be on the plane for short period of time. I told him to be respectful and behave.

As I got comfortable and got him buckled into his seat, a woman across the aisle expressed that he was just a baby and didn’t understand what I was saying. I decided to educate her.
I explained to her that I have to teach him the lessons now, through actions and words. If I choose to start teaching the lessons when I feel he’s able to receive them, then it may be too late. I told her that I always give him lessons, not knowing when he’s going to be able to receive them. If he has heard them time and time again, when it is time for him to actually receive it, he will have not only heard it once; it will be a way of life for him. My goal is to have him evaluate situations, understand his surroundings, and respect those around him. If I were to start implementing those lessons when I felt he was ready to receive them, it could be too late.

I mention things that are important, therefore they become important to him. Teaching a child life lessons starts the day they are born; it starts through the actions of the parents and is reinforced with the explanation of the actions. When your actions are reinforced with the explanation, there’s a greater understanding by the child. A small light bulb may go off and the child will think: this is why mom and/or dad do what they do. This creates a subconscious expectation of the child to behave in the same manner. Why? Because it is the only thing they have ever been taught through actions and words.

I continued to have conversations throughout the flight with my son. I did not get any more feedback from the lady on the other side of the aisle. He was also very well behaved.

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