UNITED STATES—There is a BIG difference between doing something and saying something. Right?

DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO may be commonly said, but the REAL hypocrisy is TAUGHT when it changes to something that is leading by example:

Do as I say NOT as I did!

Using a personal situation as a teaching experience can still have negative consequences. When talking about past illegal acts, substance abuse or inhumane behavior: are you speaking in a bragging and happy tone? If so YOU ARE putting ideas in that child’s head!

Think of the message you are conveying to the impressionable youth. Are you smiling and recalling a night where you ended up arrested as the best time of your life?

A child’s desire to please can be seen as early as the high chair, when baby spits food out for the first time while making the most adorable little noise. You laugh. The baby likes to see you laugh. You can now be sure he or she WILL keep doing whatever it was that made you react in that very happy way. IT IS THAT SIMPLE.

I Am 4 Kids founder Mark Papadas tells us what I believe to be the #1 mistake that leads to HUGE deficits in personality and social skill development:

“Nothing erodes a parent’s credibility more than being a hypocrite. You cannot ask them to be or do something you are not prepared to be or do yourself. We all know that “do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work when it comes to parenting.

What he means is that if you want your creation to grow up with honesty, respect, and the overall good habits that it takes to succeed in this world, YOU MUST YOURSELF be this sort of person as a role model.

When you do one thing but say something different, and the youth is powerless to hold the parent accountable for the discrepancy in their projected morals – various dysfunctional traits WILL develop. Professor P.L. Thomas corroborates this when he says, “it is not a surprise that my father taught a particularly powerful negative lesson when I developed a keen aversion to hypocrisy and authority during my youth.”

Consider that Bandura’s Observational learning theory states that we learn based on what we see.

It is LOGICAL, then, that lifelong traits come from parents OR those trusted to be in charge during the IRREPLACEABLE ages of 0-12 years old.

During these years psychosocial development occurs. The concepts of trust vs mistrust (hope), shame vs autonomy (will), and initiative vs guilt (purpose) have started developing. Good eating habits, independence, eagerness to learn and achieve, helpfulness, the beginning of self confidence, control of one’s body, even the ability to try again if you fail – are attributable to the first 6 years of life.

Positive traits are learned behavior and when the parent chooses to teach with positivism and encouragement rather than negativity and criticism, they will develop naturally. There are many things that can and should be taught before the child goes to school.

One should be asking UNCLE SAM: if a parent or caregiver is not willing to put effort into rearing the child, should they be entitled to government aid? Consider the generational welfare cases that are creating children addicted to disability payments before reaching 18?

There will ALWAYS be parents that read the book and do as the expert say, just as negative uncontrollable factors will also still exist.

Sadly enough, there will also be parents who choose not to TEACH their child as much as they can. Worse yet, they instill fear and illogical thought processes that will most likely be passed onto generation after generation.

Parents can teach their child the basics of manners and respect prior to age 5 and I would say this is called parenting. It would help create a child that is less disruptive in school. Instead, teachers are forced to parent and then ridiculously scrutinized by parents whose child-rearing created the young ‘public nuisance’ in the first place.

“Do as I say not as I do” households are one of the the main factors identified in the theory of Man-made Personality Disorder. When a trusted caregiver teaches a child to alter behavior and act in different ways around different people, they are sowing the seeds of what could be considered multiple personality for the 21st century.

America has developed a colorless combination of W.E.B. DuBois‘s (several facet identity) African American Double Consciousness and Franz Fanon’s (two different cultural identities) Dual Consciousness.

Our youth are experiencing internal conflict as a result of straining not to be an anomaly, or different from the group. The days of children trying to stand out as the best and brightest are diminishing as that makes one a target in a world where we keep lowering standards and upping minimum wage.

It has become a survival tactic for children to try NOT to look so smart. Switching on and off personality traits to please different people IS taking an effect. The integrity that comes from being true to self and not being afraid to develop one’s own set of ideals, is not developed as easily in this world that we have created for our youth.

Somebody, somewhere, MUST do something before every child in America is affected.