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The advert 'I learnt it by watching you' is an anti-narcotic campaign that emerged in the 1980s. It was made in order to demonstrate how parents influence the choices their children make in the future. In the advert, the father approaches the son after the mother found a stash of drugs and needles in the boy's closet. When the father attempts to reprimand the son, the son retorts saying, "I learnt it by watching you". This means that he would not be using the drugs if he had not witnessed his father doing the same thing. This advertisement was made to warn parents that their children are watching their every move; therefore, they need to be role models to them at all time. Most of the time, parents blamed their children for indulging in bad behaviour while they are the people who teach them that it is OK to do them.
For example, when a parent curses within earshot of the children, they will grow up thinking it is right to curse. This is the same case illustrated in the advertisement. The father was using drugs in the presence of his son; therefore, the son grew up believing that it is OK to use drugs. Eventually, the blame goes to the parents since the children trusted them to teach them the right thing but instead they mislead them. The advert concludes with the narrator saying that parents who indulge in drugs in the future get children who use drugs. However, drugs are used symbolically to refer to all the bad vices that parents might accidentally pass on to their children. Parents are entrusted with the task of bringing up their children with the best behaviour. They are expected to discipline them as well as instil good morals in them. This way, they will become good and law-abiding citizens. In the advertisement, the father is left dumbfounded after his son's outburst. This is an indication of his guilt in the matter. This is because he probably never thought that his son would copy his actions and become like him. The advert, therefore, urges parents to be a good role model to their children.
Role models teach not just through words but also through setting examples. As children grow into adults, they use the lessons learnt taught to them by their parents. In most cases, children are small imitations of their parents they talk, react, behave and share the same values and attitudes of life. Parents, therefore, should learn to be a positive influence to their children in order to avoid their past mistakes repeated by their children. For example, when a parent teaches the child to steal, the child will also most likely become a thief. On the other hand, if a parent teaches a child to say thanks and sorry when need arises; the child will grow up to be courteous. The values that parents instil in their children last a lifetime.
Parents are human and at times make mistakes. However, it is never too late to change. Whenever a parent realizes that they have made a mistake, they should have a discussion about it with their children. They should also make sure they make them aware that what he had done was wrong. This way, children will learn the value of learning from their mistakes and becoming better people.
According to the health department of the United States and other scientists, parents need to make time for their children. Despite the fact that most parents have to spend long hours in the office, it is advised that they ought to make enough time to monitor and guide their children. This is the only way that these parents can be able to be examples for their children. This means that they need to be around their children for them to copy their actions. Parents should regularly have conversions with their children where they share with them their values. In addition to this, they should inform their children aware of what is expected from the children (Rose, 2004).
Children are very sensitive beings. Therefore, their parents need to be emotionally available to guide them as well as comfort them when required. A child who is brought up by an abusive parent will also be abusive to others close to them, especially their spouses and children. This means that parents need to connect emotionally with the children. When a parent and a child connect, the child will be able to approach the parent much easily whenever they need advice or help. This will thus influence the child's decision-making in a positive way.
In summary, the advert was a revelation to parents all over the United States. Children learn best from example; therefore, the parents are advised to practice what they would want to see in their children. From the time a child is born, parents immediately become the child's role model. For better or for worse, parents determine how their children turn out in the future. The parents should instil discipline in their children from the very first day so that they can grow up with the right attitude and values in life. Children can easily distinguish from parents who are just talking the game and not practicing the same. One cannot preach water and take wine when others are not looking. Parents should apply this always so that their children can turn out to be good and respectable adults in the future.