Here’s a message that every parent needs to take heed of today: If you want your children to live the right way, then you need to be a good role model. A lot of our children’s behavior stems from what they witness at home, and bad habits can be picked up. If you want them to eat well, go outdoors, and have good manners, then you need to be a shining example.
So, think about what you are eating. It’s no good telling your child to eat his greens when you sneakily feed the dog your Brussel sprouts under the table. There are all kinds of fun and healthy recipes you can cook up that you will both enjoy, so embark on a positive diet together.
When your child is glued to the TV screen, don’t send them outdoors to get some fresh air just so you can watch your favorite TV shows. Record them, watch them when your child has gone to bed, and spend time with your young ‘un, enjoying the outdoors with them.
Or at least make sure to enjoy their screentime together with them: Playing video games every now and then is fine, as long as you do it together with them and don’t use multimedia to park your kids in front of the screen.
And don’t tell them they need to exercise more when you barely lift yourself off the sofa. Your excuses of “I can’t find the Fitbit charger” or “Daddy’s feeling tired” won’t wash should you often berate your child for not engaging in physical activities. Want your child to keep fit? Then you do the same, and do it through fun, doing something you will both enjoy, whether that’s going for a bike ride or having a kick around with a ball at the park.
Oh and by the way: Limiting screen time can also be a big one when it comes down to teaching kids about time and time management. You can also use a visual timer like the Time Timer Plus to agree on a time limit before turning the TV on which is a great way to teach them about accountability!
And don’t be surprised about your child’s bad behavior, such as swearing, telling fibs, and having sulks, when you are guilty of those very same behaviors in front of your child. Mind your language around your kids, remember that honesty matters in your life, and act responsibly, even when you don’t get your own way. Your child is watching you, so don’t blame them for going off the rails when you have been prone to do the same.
You need to show respect, to your children, wider family members, and to the people, you meet in your everyday life. If you show signs of disrespect, complaining about how awful your boss is, yelling at the neighbors, and honking your horn with road rage at crazy drivers, remember your child is watching and listening. If you want them to respect their teachers, peers, and those other significant people in their life, you can teach your child how by exhibiting the same level of respect for others.
We guess what we are saying is this. Don’t be a hypocrite! Walk the walk as well as talking the talk. Telling your child to do one thing and doing the exact opposite yourself is not going to serve your child well. You will send them mixed messages, confusing them, and possibly giving them cause to disrespect you. Too many parents today teach their child lessons while not practicing what they preach, and that is no way to parent anybody. Show your child the right way to live by living the right way yourself, and they should grow up to be as shining an example as you have been.
While we’re at it: Did you ever wonder how KIDS would answer the question “How to be a good role model?” – Watch the video below and find out! You’ll be surprised!
And as always, I’d love to hear what you think about the topic? How does your behavior-modeling impact your kids? How do you go about it? What is your most important tool in the parenting toolbox? Please share with us in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Josh – Contributing Author
P.S.: If you REALLY want to level up your parenting skills and get rid of all the power struggles that can stand between our kids and us as moms or dads, then make sure to read my FULL REVIEW of “Positive Parenting Solutions” HERE.