There’s a list or manifest or parable, or something of similar ilk that has been bandied around the interwebs by a Dr. Nolte on children learning what they experience:
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
It’s quite lovely, really.
It was written in 1972, however. I have a rather alternate observation coming from this decade.
If children live with television, they will see on average 8,000 murders on the tube by the time they exit elementary school.
If children live with Barney, they know there’s a purple dinosaur with an eating disorder despite the fact that he has just one giant tooth.
If children live with Grand Theft Auto, they know while you don’t accrue points for killing Hookers, you do get extra health points if you pay them for their services.
In 1972, children lived with Basketball heroes that looked like this:
In 2010 children live with Basketball heroes that look like this:
If children live with environmentally conscious parents, they will learn about recycling and composting. And then they’ll probably go to the store in one of these:
If children live by being tethered to us with a leash, they’ll learn…well, that they are like a dog.
If children live in a world where the average kid sends 3339 texts per month, they will know that’s over 100 a day, which teaches math.
And how to be ADHD.
If children learn that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what does a kid listening to an iPod working on his iPad while texting on his iPhone keep away?
If children look at magazines, they learn that girls should look like they are starving
If children look at magazines, they learn that Boys should look like Hercules.
Or a girl
If children live in a world of reality, they’re told to do well in school, but drop out if you want to be a billionaire
If children live with healthy parents, they’ll learn that people should lead a healthy lifestyle. Unless you’re Santa Claus, and then you have to be really fat.
Oh, and by the way, he doesn’t exist either. Your parents were lying to you.
If children grow up anywhere near a computer, they’ll learn that friends never require a handshake and you can unfriend them with a mouse.
If children live with McDonalds, then you might want to get a Santa suit.
Yes, yes, I know you could write something similar in 1972 and I’ve ruined the spirit of the whole thing, but it’s just tongue in cheek, so if you’re offended I’m sorry, sorry, sorry. I invite you to add more via comments…maybe we can make this an epic list.