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Modelling - Your Children Follow Your Lead
Parents are their child's most important role model. As a parent, our habits, beliefs, and behaviors will be reflected in our child. Children -teenagers as well as youngsters - naturally look for role models to help shape their attitudes and behaviors.
Research and statistical studies demonstrate that the majority of children consider their own parents to be their most important role models. So, the most important thing to focus on is being a positive role model yourself. There are enough negative role models surrounding our children through media and television. As parents, it is important for us to make sure that our children have plenty of positive role models.
Modeling is about demonstrating everything you want children to do, in the way you want them to do it. Children learn more from what they see than from what we tell them. No matter how many times you tell children that reading is important and valuable, if they don't see you doing it. they will think of it as a chore.
Your child tunes into your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. He or she can sense how you feel about something, even if your words say that you are feeling something different. Based on your actions, emotions and attitude, your children know when you truly value something and when you don't. If reading is to be fun, valuable and important, you must model that to your children.
Do as you say and say as you do
Children want to act like their role models, not just talk like them. Children learn much more from your actions, not from your words.
If you don't want your child to smoke, then you should not smoke. If you want your child to be on time for school, make sure you are on time for work and other meetings. If you don't want your child to use swear words, then don't use those words in front of your child.
Show respect for other people, including your child
For many children, the word respect is hard to understand. It's not something they can touch or feel, but it's still a very important concept. To help your child learn about respect, you may want to point out when you are being respectful. For instance, when your child starts to pick out his or her own clothes, you can show respect for those choices.
Be honest with your child about how you are feeling
Adults get confused about emotions all the time, so it's no surprise that children might get confused, too. For instance, you might have a short temper after a really stressful day at work, but your child might think you are angry with him, or her. If you find yourself acting differently than you usually do, explain to your child that he or she isn't to blame for your change in a special behavior. You can prevent a lot of hurt feelings and confusion by being honest with your child about your own emotions.
Make sure your child knows that being angry does not mean "you are not loved"
Disagreements and arguments are a normal part of most relationships. But many children can't separate love from anger; they assume that if you tell yell at them, then you don't love them anymore.
Be alert to changes in your child's emotions so you can coach your child through moments of anger or sadness without brushing-off the emotion or ignoring it.
Five Simple Strategies for modelling for your child:
- Always do what you say you are going to do, and apologize when you do not.
- Be respectful to everyone around you, but especially when your child is present.
- Be open and honest with your child about how you are feeling.
- Try not to be angry, but, if you are, make sure that your child understands that you love them.
- Be aware that your child watches your every move and listens to every word. They will imitate the good, and the bad.