Just earlier this week, I was having lunch with one of my childhood friends who has been married for five years and had a four-year-old son.
While enjoying our food, we were talking about our family life. Then my friend said something about his young son being addicted to smartphone.
“He could not just stop watching the phone,” he said. “If I take it away, he will cry and throw a tantrum until he gets it back.”
He said he was afraid the son would grow up to be socially awkward if such a behaviour continued on.
After we finished the meal, we ordered coffee. I wanted to continue our conversation, but my friend took out his smartphone and started playing games on it. He would keep playing in the next two hours.
I declared I found the reason why he could not take away the smartphone from his son. It was because he could not even keep away from his phone himself. Burn!
A Khmer proverb says, “Don’t imitate the teacher but accept his lecture”. I cannot say it is completely wrong. But, here is an example: a teacher who is usually late for his class continues to give a lecture on punctuality to his student.
How does it sound? When he scolds a student who arrives very late for his lesson, the student can rebut by saying that, “But, you are also late very often! Why can’t I be late?”
Albert Schweitzer (14 January 1875 – 4 September 1965), an Alsatian polymath and Nobel Peace laureate, once said, “Not only example is the best way to teach, it is the only way.” I firmly support this concept.
When it comes to teaching children, there is a saying that “Monkey see, monkey do”, referring to a process in which the children learn from their parents example without understanding the reason behind that.
In such a context, the behaviours and actions around them could have deep impact on the children, and thus shape their growing up.
I remembered when I was a child, my cousin and I usually carried a bottle of water and pretended that we were drinking wine, with some snacks.
We were copying what the men in our neighbourhood had been doing. At such a young age, we did not know whether that was right or wrong. We were wondering how the real wine tastes like and hope to actually drink it someday.
I also know someone who suffered from domestic violence caused by his bad-tempered parents when he was a child and grew up to become a violent and quick-tempered man himself. Such a cycle has been confirmed by scientists and education experts.
In fact, being a good example is not only crucial to the sphere of family and classroom but also to all contexts in which you try to teach someone.
In my opinion, a good example can do more trick than a 10-hour lecture. If you are a manager at a company, you have to show your subordinates how you want them, for example, to dress and behave through being the model for them, just like you teach then to perform a task by showing them how to do it first.
Overall, it is an indispensable trait of a good leader.
I also have to admit that I myself, without little academic background in journalism, obtained my strong sense of professionalism in the field by learning from my professional senior in the field.
So, to all our young readers—start doing your part by being the good examples to everyone!