“When a baby first drops a ball, it has no idea what will happen. Enough repetitions adjust its model of the world and by two months old babies have grasped the idea of gravity. Once that pattern is established it will no longer trigger attention — only disruptions will.”
The patterns we establish for our children, based on the things we repeatedly expose them to, shape their experience of the world. It goes back to one of the principles of fatherhood I’ve found through my work - Creating the Conditions.
It works at so many levels. The conditions you create for them help them learn, or not, like giving them the freedom to make mistakes, climbing up the slide the wrong way, chopping vegetables with a bluntish knife and falling out with friends because of how they behave. But it also goes for their impression of us. My youngest thought I liked cleaning because I do it so much. I don’t. I just don’t like mess. After he told me that, I realised I was cleaning up their mess. That’s OK when they’re under three, but after that, they have to learn, and I hadn’t created the conditions for that. Consequences like I won’t help you find that toy in your bombsite of a room until you tidy it. Dependencies like you don’t get to play after dinner until you’ve put your plate in the dishwasher and helped tidy up. Conditions matter, which ones are you creating?
The quote came from Faris who runs Genius Steals, from an article about The Six Templates of Highly Successful Advertising. It’s well worth a read if you’re into that sort of thing.