Parents as Role Models
Parenting is one of the toughest tasks but the one way of making it easy is by being role models to the children. Parents are already role models to their children. The children observe every action of their parents and try to imitate it. This is how infants acquire language skills as well as learn how to talk. They largely depend on observation to understand and test how interpersonal relationships work. They do listen to their parents’ words and observe their actions to examine how they handle different situations. Therefore, parents are already role models to their children, but the challenge is how to provide positive examples.
Parents should be an example to their children but it is not easy because sometimes they can argue with a relative or say something that they regret later. Therefore, no parent is perfect because they will do something that they wish their children had not seen or heard. Their actions after this are important. This are the moments that parents should demonstrate some emotions such as empathy. However, it is important for the parents to talk to their children about what happened. If they said unkind words, it is important for them to either apologize in the presence of the children.
Whether training infants how to talk or having difficult times communicating with their teenagers, being a good example to them is the best thing the parents can be to them. The question that parents ask themselves is what things the children learn best from them. The following are some of the things that if parents exhibit well will set good examples to their children.
- Respecting others. Parents should evaluate how they treat other people such as strangers, family members and friends. Children learn how to value others by watching their parent’s actions. This includes how parents talk about certain things such as school. On the other hand, children learn to respecting themselves by taking their parents’ lead. Therefore, parents should respect themselves as well.
- Portraying positive communication skills. Parents should consider their own words, are they disrespectful or hurting? Words are powerful and if they demonstrate that language can be disrespectful, children will emulate them. Parents should also exhibit positive listening skills, they should not interrupt the children when talking to them. By doing so, they are teaching the children to do the same to them.
- Demonstrating good health values. Parents cannot force their children to eat healthier foods or spend less time on TV on their own. They must show them, sit down and have healthier meals together. They can also spend TV time by doing certain activities together such as taking an evening walk or riding a bike together.
- Managing their anger. Managing stress, anger and other hurtful feelings is one of the most valuable tools parents should teach their children. We live in a demanding society and anger is one of the natural reactions. When parents are faced with challenges, they should remain calm and talk through the issue. If appropriate, they should talk to their children about what triggered their reactions. This will teach them to reevaluate their actions when they get mad.
It should be noted that teaching by example is the easiest and most effective way to teach children than forcing them to obey rules by either threatening or scaring them. The above behaviors are just a few examples in the endless possibilities that parents can role model their children. Therefore, it is not about trying to be a perfect parent, but keeping in mind that their actions are being watched and emulated by their children. This is good for parents because it implies that they have a chance of helping their children become better people every day.