Children see. Children do.

In 2006, Australia’s National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN), launched a provocative 90 second cinema ad featuring children following adults, mimicking their habits. It all starts innocuously talking on a mobile phone, using a pay phone but the behaviour becomes more insidious with a girl copying a woman’s smoking habits on an escalator; a boy follows as a grown man carelessly knocks a struggling mother’s bag off her shoulder. We see examples of litter, drunken behaviour, road rage, racism and cruelty to animals. A woman yells at her baby, accompanied by her older daughter. A man is joined by his son as he verbally and physically abuses his wife…

The message is very clear: what children see, children will do.

It doesn’t matter what behaviour we as parents espouse as acceptable, children will copy what we model.

Children see. Children do.

You can view a clip here – * warning: the images are powerful and disturbing in their reality and are not suitable for children *

Just as children will copy our anger and our violence, they will copy the compassion, the encouragement, the level-headedness we display.

What behaviour are we modeling? What attitudes are we instilling?

It’s our choice. Let’s make our influence positive.


You can download positive parenting resources here

What do you think?