Dressing up like others is a common part of growing up. It even helps us to work through some of life’s questions on roles that people play. It helps us to regulate our behavior, to practice social experiences, and to create scenarios in which we can control the outcomes.
I was watching a group of four-year olds who were playing house. It was an interesting window into what the children were thinking and what they viewed as typical behaviors for the roles they were playing.
Daddy: (Enters the play area wearing a large hard hat, which he tosses onto the couch) “Hey, woman! Get me a beer.”
Mommy: (Her fist on her hip turns to “Daddy” and says) “Get it yourself, I don’t see any broken legs on you.” (She returns to what she was doing and begins wiping the dishes with a towel).
Daddy: (Murmurs under his breath) No body’s got no respect around here. (Rises and goes to the refrigerator.)
This short little skit was an interesting window into what these four-year-olds had obviously observed and considered as behaviors indicative of roles they were playing. It certainly raises questions to families.
- What behaviors are we showing to our children?
- What attitudes are we exhibiting before our children?
- Do they see what we would hope they would emulate?
- More importantly, are they seeing and hearing what God would want them to later adopt as a behavior pattern.
Listen to the children, they will tell you what they think and know every time.