You can ask any parent and they will be the first to tell you that children seldom do as they are told to do, but will always replicate what they see being done by their parents. They will tell you that no matter how many times you try to inculcate good habits in them, they will take time to learn it. However, you manage to swear once in front of them, and they will pick up the words almost instantly. They will also manage to use the swear words in front of company at the most embarrassing time possible.
Good behaviour needs to be constantly observed by the children, if it is to become a part of their lives. Since the adults that they spend the most time with are the parents, it puts a great deal of pressure on the parents to be good role models for their children. The good news is that if you behave well, so will your children. The bad news is that you have to constantly monitor your behaviour and act consistently for them to pick up the lessons subconsciously. Here’s how you can begin to be a good role model for your children.
Healthy Life Choices
If you have a smoking habit or drink excessively, you can preach all you want about your children not doing this, but it’s not going to have any effect on them. They will want to experiment with smoking and drinking the minute your back is turned. They will reason it out saying that if you as the parent can do it, so can they. It’s easy to justify unhealthy behaviour when you see your parents indulging in it all the time. This means you need to first improve your life style so that they can look up to you as a role model.
Thankfully, this also means that you will be living up to your own potential, and making healthy life style choices that your children can emulate. Eat nutritious food, get plenty of exercise and ensure that you have a proper night’s sleep. Not only will you reap the health benefits on your body, you will also be doing exactly what you ask your children to do. Making it so much easier for them to obey you. It can also become a family thing to play sports together to make it even more acceptable. Eating food picked up at Farmer’s Markets, and cooking new recipes that are nutritious and tasty can also become a family activity.
Offering Your Services as a Volunteer
It is an admirable thing to offer your time and money to a worthy cause. It builds character in terms of meeting commitments, and helps you feel more satisfied at the end of the day for having made a difference in someone’s life. Just don’t expect your children to do so, simply because you tell them to. They are going to need you to show them by example how giving back to society actually works. The best way to do that is to bring them along when you are volunteering your services. This of course, means that you need to be a volunteer yourself, if you wish to role model this behaviour for your children.
Naturally not all places that you can volunteer are child friendly, so here are some ideas to help you pick out your activities. Organize a food drive and deliver the food to an orphanage or an old age home. Participate in a community clean up drive. This could involve sweeping, mopping, picking up trash, even painting trims or doors at a community hall. You could also go to a retirement community on a weekly basis and read out loud to the residents. The children can accompany you to all these activities and pitch in their bit as well.
Respectful and Positive Attitude
Children are people too. They deserve as much respect as the next person you speak with outside the home. They are often more responsive to parents, who treat them with the same kind of respectful behaviour, that the parents expect from them. Communication channels should always be open between you and your children. They should know that no matter what they needs to confess, you as the parent will be open to listening to them. Further more, they should trust that if it’s an issue that they are unable to resolve by themselves, you will be able to help them do so.
Teach them the power of positive thinking. Being an optimist is a great tool to have a growth mindset. If you wish to achieve more in life, you need to focus on the good and not crib about all the things that are going wrong. Have you caught your children whining about things not going their way and not getting what they want? Then you need to take a good look at your own behaviour and see if they are getting this attitude from you. Examine your behaviour the last time things didn’t go as you expected them to.
Just changing the way you react to a disappointment can help you change your attitude to life in general. It will also provide your children with a much needed example of how they should handle disappoint in their own lives. Having a respectful and positive attitude will help your children in all spheres of life.