The apple never falls far from the tree. Apparently that statement comes from Eastern origin and we know it is frequently used to illustrate how children imitate their family's characteristics. The above picture illustrates a child doing exactly what he has seen the people he grows up around doing. Where else would a young child learn to yell or display so much anger and give the finger to a player on the opposite side of his or her team? In our culture today winning is an obsession and since young malleable minds learn through observation and imitation I wonder what messages we are teaching kids about how to act towards competitors, whether its at sports, business, school projects or even dating?
Many of today's TV shows, video games and movies are not promoting positive pro-social cooperative behavior for children. Instead they are exposed to more and more violence and fighting at sporting and even political events, than ever before. As adults, we are responsible for providing our children with positive and safe ways for how to handle adversity and the tough challenges that life brings. We know now that children develop beliefs about themselves, others and the world around them during the first six years of life. Even science confirms this through methods such as brain-wave scanning, which shows the activity of kids for the first six years of development is primarily "beta" state; a highly suggestible state of mind. When a child sees his dad for instance call someone from the opposite political party or football team a derogatory name and give them the finger, then watch people acknowledge or high five the adult for that behavior, we wonder why, when he or she gets into an argument or a competitive sport , they do the same thing.