Teaching, Involuntarily

I am obsessed with my son’s dentist office.

The first time we showed up, they let me know that only children were allowed back to the exam rooms. Parents had to wait in the car or in the waiting room. 

When I first heard this, I had a pretty severe interior allergic reaction to it. (He was only three!)  Then, I considered their reasoning.  Their experience as well as numerous studies show that young people learn to fear the dentist from the grown-ups in their lives.  That is, the parents teach their children, non-verbally and without intention, to fear and resist the dental exam.  Without the grownups, the exam goes smoothly.  

The place runs like a dream.  My son loves the dentist.  The boundary works.  

We are always teaching, for good or for ill.  That something is scary, or not.  That someone or something is worthy, or not.  Let’s watch how we teach, and be grateful for the boundaries that save us from teaching something that we never wanted to.