Once you become a parent, the realisation hits – you have this person that’s your very own to keep happy, (alive!) and thriving throughout the rest of your life. You are the figure that’s going to mould them into the person they will become and that is a big responsibility to bear. Not only do you need to take care of their fundamentals such as their food, sleep, and hygiene, but you also need to teach them morals, emotional stability and responsibility. Whether your child is a baby, toddler, a child or if you are currently pregnant, we have put together a guide to the importance of being a good role model to your children and how to go about this. Keep on reading to find out more.
Why is it so important to be a good role model to your children?
There are so many reasons it’s important to be a good role model to your children. As a parent, you want to help your child to not only be healthy in terms of their sleep, food and physical attributes, but also mentally. By being a good role model they will look up to you and follow your examples of how to be a good member of society. They will learn the correct ways to speak to others, to achieve their goals and to make friends. Not only can it help them, but they will also be good role models to others, including their children in the future.
Teach them about the world and to care for others
Teach your children about things around the world even if they might be more controversial. For example, teach the importance of gender equality, of race and being kind and nice to everyone. To be accepting to those even if they are different to them in appearance, how they act or their likes and dislikes. These healthy habits will help them to be a much more compassionate and well rounded individual.
How can you be a good role model to your children?
Whether you are the parent, an aunt, uncle or legal guardian, if you are in charge of a child, it’s important to be a good role model for them to shape their future and enhance their childhood. Here are just a few ways you can do this:
Teach them the best ways to deal with conflict
Conflict resolution is one of the most important things in life and will help them learn to get out of sticky situations and to deal better when things don’t quite go right for them. This is often a learnt behaviour and as such you want to show them the best way to do it. If you are having an argument with your other half for example, it’s tempting to shout and scream at each other, particularly when emotions are fraught. Your little one will witness this and think the appropriate thing to do when they are in a situation they aren’t happy with is to raise their voice. Instead, speak calmly to one another and resolve the conflict in a reasonable manner. You can teach your child the best way to get your point across is through good communication as opposed to raising your voice.
Encourage them to do things for themselves
As a parent or guardian, when you see your child struggling to do something it can be hard for you to witness. Whether this is them being stuck on homework, trying to do some cooking, or perhaps learning to tie their laces. Instead of just doing it for them, which teaches them to always look for help, encourage them to keep trying, emphasising that they can do it. You should model that if you are stuck with something that you persevere and learn until you can do instead of giving up. If they are stuck for a while you can intervene, but give them a good shot and try before you do this.
Be friendly but with clear boundaries
As a parent it can be easy to blur the lines between being an authoritative figure and a friend. You want to strike the balance where they feel they love and trust you and can tell you anything, but not that they view you as a friend and don’t have respect for the boundaries that you set. Teach them the difference between these sorts of relationships and offer solid boundaries. Boundaries are important for children to feel safe and secure and should be set from a young age. From giving them a dedicated bedtime to not allowing them to do certain activities even if their friends are doing them, communicate always why you are not allowing or setting something and ensure they know it’s for their own good.
Have a healthy diet
It has been proven that your diet and what you eat and drink is a great influence on your child’s and the better you eat, the more likely they are to adopt these habits as they grow. If you teach them about healthy foods and eat them yourself, they are less likely to be fussy eaters and will grow up with a healthy appreciation for food. Teach them about nutrients and vitamins and what food groups are important and why. It’s vital that you eat with your children too. While this may not be realistic every night of the week, try to at least once or twice where you all sit down and eat as a family. It can be tempting to dish up your kids a quick meal then eat with your partner when they come in from work, but this can be detrimental. Set good habits of eating all your food and eating together.
These are just a few top tips that can help you to be a good role model for your children. By following these pieces of guidance you can ensure you’re raising your child to be the best possible version of them that you can. You want them to grow up as well-rounded and happy people and these are helpful ways to teach them healthy habits that can do this. What are some top tips you have for being a good role model to your children? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you.