(I posted this on Facebook the other day, but I wanted to make sure that you guys saw this too. Not only do I think it has a good "life lesson", but I'm still amazed at the mind of a 14-month-old.)
Make sure you stick around for the moral of this story...
Mandi and I had an empty case of Gatorade sitting by our back door. By our back door is generally where we put large recyclable items that don't fit in the recycle container. Tonight, Mckenna (our 14-month-old daughter) walked over to the empty case and picked it up by one hand. With the other hand, she pointed at the back door and said "That!". We opened the door. She then proceeded to go out into our backyard with the empty Gatorade case in hand. We followed her. She walked about 60 feet along the back of our house until she got to a gate that leads into our side yard. She stopped at the gate, pointed to it, and said, "That!". We opened the gate. Mckenna then walked another 60 feet along the side of our house, still dragging the empty Gatorade case, until she got to two receptacles - one for trash and one for recyclables. I asked her which one the box went in and she pointed to the blue recycle bin and said, "That!". Mandi picked her up, opened the lid and Mckenna dropped the empty case in the recycle bin.
What's the moral of this story? Our kids are watching our every move. They watch what we eat. They hear what we say. They see how we react. They take in our emotions. They do what we do.
Children mirror their parents. Even at such a young age, the learning for "real life" is taking place.
Children learn what's right and wrong from two sources, and two sources only - the parents, and the teachers that the parents allow in their child's life. Be a good model for your child and choose your teachers, even the non-human kind, wisely.