In an age where Climate Change, Sustainability, and Green Living dominate global awareness, it is imperative to socialize our children with a concern for the environment.
Sociologists and social psychologists have dedicated years of research to what seems to be a basic concept of education, Social Learning Theory. Social Learning Theory can be summed up with the old adage, “monkey see, monkey do!” It surmises that children learn values, roles, and culture from observing the behavior of others. From their parents to immediate family, secondary social groups (friends) to perfect strangers, authors, actors, and public figures, children not only absorb cultural information, they also act it out. This process of mimesis is essential to Social Learning Theory, and explains why our girls act like “little moms” and boys pretend to be soldiers as they practice (often through games or imaginative play) behavioral patterns for their future lives.
With this in mind, it is vital that kids see all of us acting in a way that benefits our environment.
At Petit Paris, we promote an environmentally-friendly attitude by emphasizing recycling and separating our trash, using and reusing every piece of paper for coloring, and not wasting water or electricity throughout the day.
Applying Social Learning Theory, we take our lessons a step further by coordinating service activities that teach our kids the value of activism, pride in our community’s appearance and hygiene, and motivation to do something proactive to solve our modern problems! The kids’ enthusiasm for community service is amazing to see, and the impressions they learn at a young age—with continued reinforcement—will survive as beneficial behaviors for the environment the rest of their lives!