Acting As A Role Model For Your Children
It’s important for you to always set an example for your children. This is because even in the moments where they might profess their distaste for you (usually after being denied ice cream or that toy in the store,) they idolize you with everything they have. For this reason, they will often emulate your behavior, and consider whatever you do to be ‘justifying’ that matter in particular.
This means being a role model is not something you say, but something you embody. Children are much more perceptive than adults usually like to give them credit for, and that can lead to adults sometimes being a little loose with their behavior and imagining that it won’t affect their children. Of course, this guide will not tell you how to be a good parent. You are most likely one already, certainly if the title of this post appealed to you, and the last thing you need is to be patronized.
But being a good parent and a role model can sometimes be two seperate things. Let us help you achieve the latter:
Consider Your Speech
As a parent, you have to be careful with your speech. This is because your children will likely echo what you say. How many parents have mistakenly swore when hitting their toe against a chair leg, only to have their toddler pick up on that word and endlessly repeat it, much to the comedic chagrin of the parent. It’s important to consider your speech and how you utilize it in your everyday communication.
Aggressive put-downs can erode any child’s sense of confidence, but not just to them. It’s important to treat everyone with the same baseline respect and manners. If your child sees you act rudely towards waiting staff, they will likely relay the same to strangers they do not know, as they think you have condoned it. You cannot be perfect one hundred percent of the time, but as speech is power and children are learning from their environment all the time, it’s best to embody your most thoughtful, polite self here.
Consider Your Driving
While your children may be a long way off from getting behind the wheel themselves, it’s important to consider your driving habits. This is because often, this is one of the places where you are at your most reactive, tense and potentially even irritable. You can practice the safest driving in the world, but if someone cuts you off, if you have a light bump into another vehicle or need to use a car accident attorney to defend yourself against some fracas, it can be incredibly easy to shout, get angry and agitated, and get into further conflict. It can also be easy to allow your car to become messy, despite how this might look within the car itself.
You need to continually ensure your driving habits are careful and safe. You need to ensure that you commit to keeping seat belts worn, and that your children are taught how to behave in the vehicle. This kind of behavior in a vehicle will show them that which is right and wrong when traveling, and hopefully they will internalize this once they begin to drive themselves in a decade or so.
Cleanliness & Organization
Talk to most people who seem to have little trouble taking care of their homes, those who are organized and tidy, and you’ll probably learn that they internalized this behavior from their parents. This can be quite eye-opening, and also quite motivational to see. It not only suggests just how powerful a clean home can be in helping children grow up right, but how those skills as a default can be taught to young children.
When they become of age, say 12 years old, it can also be important to grant them their first mainstay of real responsibility. You may have them clean their rooms, tidy and make up their bed, and to ensure their belongings are packed in the right places before they retire for the night. They say that cleanliness is close to Godliness after all, and to this extent, you’ll see why.
Listen To Them
While you have vastly more life experience and responsibility than your children, that doesn’t mean you simply know better than them regarding all things. It might be that learning how to listen rather than instruct can help you get to the heart of an issue. It can help your children trust you, particularly when wishing to talk about sensitive topics such as school bullying. A dialogue, even in it’s limited form, can sometimes be very informative.
With these tips, you’re sure to be even more of a role model than you already are.