12 Ways Parents Can Become a Role Model for Their Children
Perhaps one of the most complicated things about parenthood is becoming a role model for your children. Without a doubt, when we are parents, we have a pair of eyes on us all day long. It can’t be any other way: children learn from everything we do.
That’s why, at Bright Side, we want to show you 12 ways you could become a role model for your daughters or sons, without any extra effort on your part.
1. Be optimistic about life
We know, being optimistic all the time is impossible, especially on a Monday morning, or at the end of a bad day at work. There are times when tiredness overwhelms us, but it’s better for children not to perceive our negativity. They need to see a mother or father who doesn’t stop, no matter what life throws at them. Sooner or later, they will learn to imitate this optimistic way of looking at things.
2. Watch your tone of voice
Sometimes, adults forget to watch how we talk to children. Remember that the way you say things significantly affects your children’s behavior. Your tone is everything: don’t yell and don’t be offensive. Instead, it is better to offer a response in an empathetic tone, your voice should be calm and understanding.
3. Lead a healthy lifestyle
Ask yourself how often your children see you eating a balanced diet, exercising or taking care of yourself. Those are good habits for life that they could replicate. But if they see you eating junk food all the time or just not drinking enough water, they’ll learn that too. The logical thing to do is to teach them good habits that they could have all their lives.
4. Get involved in their lives
No matter how big or important an event is, always involve yourself in your children’s lives. This way, they will learn that it is important to be there for each other at all times. Some parents watch their children grow up wondering where all those years went. Well: it’s in the little things.
5. Never give in to peer pressure
Peer pressure can be powerful, even as an adult. We often do things so we “don’t look bad,” but doing them out of provocation is not always a good example to set for our kids. Children will not forget those times when you did less than honorable things. Stand by your principles above all else.
6. Smile and have fun from time to time
Parents always want to provide their children with everything, so that they lack nothing. However, they will mostly remember those funny moments when they laughed out loud with you or had a great time. Don’t miss the opportunity to laugh with them, put aside the guilt of leaving work for half an hour. The world is complicated enough; life should be happier at home.
7. Show kindness
Your children look to any act of kindness you have for others, whether you volunteer in a charitable situation or simply give someone a seat on public transport. Children will learn through your acts of generosity. When you are kind to others, they will see that this is an acceptable way to live life and will replicate it.
8. Don’t cross the line
Don’t try too hard. We know, it may seem counterintuitive. But some parents want to set a good example by being so demanding that they overdo it in their attempts or parenting styles. While you may be conscious of your efforts, keep things in proportion. Don’t suffocate your kids just to be a positive role model, or you may come across as fake.
9. Show them stability
Your children want your love and attention, but they also need stability. This is the backbone of a child’s life. Lack of structure can even cause behavioral and health problems, and anxiety. This means that having regular schedules for eating, sleeping, recreation and homework applies to you as well.
10. Show them what you do for a living
All parents want their children to be good human beings, and this has a lot to do with earning things through effort, talent or hard work, right? Well, you can start showing your child how you earn a living by taking them to work with you (whenever you can) or simply talking to them about what you do to support the household.
11. Be honest
White lies seem to be a very effective old invention. We all grew up hearing or telling them, but maybe it’s time to try something different. Don’t say things to your child just to get them to calm down or leave you alone. Be honest, above all else, and don’t teach them that it is acceptable to lie.
12. Follow the path
Above all, make sure you practice what you preach. Be consistent with your actions and stand your ground under all circumstances. Being a positive role model in your children’s lives may seem like a huge burden, but it’s not if you think it’s simply a matter of following your principles and showing them in a generous and empathetic way.
What other things do you think are important when educating children by example?