Although the parent is the child’s first teacher, it does not necessarily follow that the parent is the child’s best teacher. A parent may be ineffective at communicating important lessons to a child, either by precept or by example.
To illustrate, imagine a negligent mother does not bother to teach her children about dangers involved with electricity, fire, or household chemicals Unaware of those dangers, a child may be seriously injured or even killed, and may cause injury or death to others as well. Someone else would have made a better teacher for the child and thus prevented tragic consequences.
In another hypothetical case, a parent may fail to instruct a child on the dangers of drugs. The child becomes involved with drugs and experiences trouble both in school and with health.
There is also the possibility that a parent will deliberately instruct a child in some dangerous practice, attitude, or philosophy. A child who is taught to hate persons of a different race or nationality may grow up to be a very dangerous person. Parents may “may imprint,” or wrongly instruct, children in many other ways as well. One therefore should not presume that parents are
always the best teachers. Sometimes, they are the worst teachers a child might have.