Teach By Example
Children are so...impressionable. They are very observant and though they definitely have personalities all their owns, their actions can be easy to shape as they must watch the people around them to try to figure out what is right and wrong.
Take the kid for example. He really likes to open the refrigerator and stand in front of it, surverying its contents while he decides what he wants to eat. Even though his options are generally fruit and cheese so it isn't very hard; I guess maybe he thinks I'm holding out on something else. Anyway. Of course this behavior is not allowed as we try to discourage having the refrigerator open needlessly and remind him to shut the refrigerator door.
Well last night I opened the refrigerator door to get the kid some grapes and left it, including the produce door, wide open while I got them ready. Well the kid was having none of that. He knew exactly what to do and walked up, shut the produce and refrigerator doors, then looked at me with a big smile, waiting for approval. He definitely got it.
He has actually done this before but it never really dawned on me that he is watching me. He is watching my moves and my choices so he can make his. He is not quite two so he is still trying to figure the world out a little more than, say, a 10 year old would be, but the idea is the same. If there is a behavior you would like to implement or change, let the first change be in yourself. Whether that be eating a better alternative or not using plastic bags at the grocery store, sometimes the best way to teach is to simply act. To teach by example.