Fathers for Organic – Part 7 of 7: A Father Teaches

Even before our babies are born, we are teaching them about the wide world around us. We communicate our choices, our values, even without thinking about it. They hear our voices, smell our aromas, and they taste, remember, and prefer the foods we feed to their mother.

After they are born, they will continue to learn, day and night, from what we say and do. Within just a couple of years they will learn to speak and understand our language, just from listening to us speak and trying to imitate what we say. This is quite an accomplishment! When was the last time you fluently learned a language? Imagine tackling another in the next two years. Meanwhile, babies will also be learning the figurative language of our habits, our relationships, our emotions.

This truth hit home to me one day as my toddling son finished brushing his teeth. When he was done, he tapped his toothbrush on the side of the sink to dry it – tap, tap-tap, tap-tap, tap. It was precisely my habitual toothbrush percussion rhythm! But I had never noticed before that I had this minor routine. He had.

Tonight, as my oldest son enjoys tuxedos and boutonnieres, gowns and corsages, at his senior prom, he has learned 18 years of lessons from observing my example, for better or for worse. He has absorbed most of these lessons without either of us noticing. Tonight Cheryl and I celebrate the cycles and seasons of life.

By choosing organic foods for our families, we teach quietly and profoundly. We teach our kids about healthy nutrition, at a time when obesity is overtaking many American children. We teach our kids about justice, as we choose to pay fair prices to the farmers who grow our foods without the use of persistent synthetic chemicals. We teach our kids about respect for our planet, as we take steps to save the wildlife our children love. We teach them to one day be fathers and mothers themselves, creating an inheritance for their children. We teach, we provide, we protect. We are dads.

More From Fathers for Organic:
Dr. Greene’s Organic Journey
Fathers for Organic – Part 1 of 7
Fathers for Organic – Part 2 of 7
Fathers for Organic – Part 3 of 7
Fathers for Organic – Part 4 of 7
Fathers for Organic – Part 5 of 7
Fathers for Organic – Part 6 of 7
Fathers for Organic – Part 7 of 7

Last medical review on: December 18, 2011
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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