All children need role models in their lives. We’re not born with hurtful tendencies in our hearts, they are learned behaviors, so having positive role models is essential for a child’s development. However, some lessons aren’t as straightforward as others, and some take longer to learn. This is why being a role model can be an ideal way to show your children how they should act in their day to day life.
One of the easiest ways a child can learn is through mimicry, and this is why you should always be aware of the way you are acting and what you are teaching your kids even when you didn’t realize they were paying attention. The truth is, children are always paying attention, and no matter how we are acting, they are learning. Here are some tips on being a great positive role model as a parent to ensure that your children learn the best kinds of behaviors to incorporate into their lives.
If we want our children to be healthy, we need to be healthy too. After all, why should a child eat all their vegetables and go outside to play if they see their parents eating junk food and watching TV? They will want to do just as their role model is doing, and rather than saying something like ‘do as I say, not what I do’, which undermines the entire parental relationship, make sure you are doing the things you expect your kids to do.
When eating, for example, try to eat together as a family at least two to three times a week (schedules will, of course, vary, so it will depend on what everyone is doing). Not only is this good for family bonding and to ensure you are discovering more about what your children are doing at school, who their friends are, what their goals are and so on (which becomes even more important the older they get), but you can also make sure your children see you eating and acting healthily.
Plus, if you can exercise regularly as a family, you will be instilling yet more positive ideas about health and healthy living. Make the exercise fun by playing with your children rather than having a strict workout routine and they will be more willing to join in.
No matter how old you are, what job you are doing (or what job you want to do) or even if you simply want to learn something new, it’s never too late for self-improvement. In fact, this idea should be something we are constantly striving for, ensuring that we are really making the most of our lives.
This could mean taking an evening class in something we have always wanted to learn more about or starting a degree in a subject that we want to improve in. It could mean learning online in order to gain additional qualifications in our current careers. Nurses can take online DNP leadership programs, for example, which will enhance their knowledge and their chances of promotion and success.
It doesn’t matter what you are doing to improve your life and current circumstances as long as you are doing something. This is an ideal thing for a role model to do since it will show your children that you can always strive to do better and be more, and there are always opportunities open to you if you want to take them.
Being a volunteer, either on a regular basis or once in a while, can really show your children another aspect of life that they may not have considered before. It will show them that there are people who are worse off than they are, or that there are people who need help in some way. Even if you aren’t helping those who have these kinds of needs, but you are helping out at a school or in an after school group, for example, you can still show that helping others is a good thing to do in life, and this is going to be extremely positive for your children.
Having a generous heart is a skill that not everyone is able to bring to the fore, but it’s one that can open up all kinds of opportunities and make life a much happier, more fulfilling one. It’s wonderful to let your children experience this, and it’s a great way to be a role model for them.
One of the best things you can do if you want to be a role model for your children is to be yourself. If you try to be someone you’re not because you think this will help people to like you more, or give you more chances in life, then you will ultimately be miserable. You really need to make decisions based on your own personal feelings, your own personality and your own likes and dislikes rather than trying to please other people (although compromise may still be required in some situations, and this is another important life lesson to learn).
By opening up and being yourself as much as possible, you can show your children that it’s okay to enjoy whatever it is they enjoy, and they don’t have to change to follow the crowd. Ultimately, although this can be a hard lesson to understand, it will make them much happier. We’re not saying you shouldn’t care what other people think, but some people’s opinions are always going to be more important than others, so take care when you take advice about what you should or shouldn’t be doing, and ultimately, what is the point in life if you can’t be truly happy?
Having self-control in life is something else that a good role model will be able to teach their children. It’s important to know that it is not a bad thing to release emotions; in fact, it’s often healthier to let things out than it is to bottle them up. However, there is a time and a place for all emotions, and practicing self-control is a good thing to teach your children.
If you are angry, there are many ways to control that anger such as going for a run, leaving the room, lying down and meditating, and so on. Not immediately exploding is an excellent way to be a role model; taking the time to think things through before reacting, and then coming up with a solution that explains the situation is a far better way to handle things than becoming angry and lashing out. If more people were able to do this, life would be much easier and the world would be a much more positive place.