Did you know that role modeling plays a key part in your child’s development? We have some great tips to help you be a positive role model!
How to Be a Positive Role Model as Parents
Some traits and qualities that children have are genetic or the power of “nature.” Likewise, many traits and qualities are the product of a child’s environment and experience which is referred to as “nurture”.
What is a role model?
A role model is a person looked to by others who serve as an example. Role models can have a powerful influence on the “nurture” of children. A positive role model can inspire children to progress and develop without any direct instruction.
Below are 5 tips to help in your efforts to be an effective and positive role model.
Tip #1 – Build a Strong Relationship with Your Child
Showing unconditional love will help your child feel secure in the relationship. When kids feel loved by their parents, parents are able to have a greater natural influence on their child.
There are many figures and names calling for your child’s attention, however, you have the advantage of developing a strong relationship. This healthy relationship will help counteract negative influences from role models in the media.
Tip #2 – Be the Person You Want Your Child to Become
Take some time to reflect on your attitudes, actions, and habits. Are they in line with the expectations you have for your child? Here are a few questions to consider reflecting on.
- How do I:
- handle stress?
- respond to problems?
- deal with anger?
- treat people?
- celebrate special occasions?
- take care of myself?
- deal with my mistakes?
- Am I honest?
- Do I use language I would be fine with my child using?
Perhaps after some reflection, you feel like there are some course corrections that ought to be made. That’s great! This is a good opportunity for you to model improvement, patience, and effort as you make adjustments in your life.
Tip #3 – Demonstrate Consistency
Being a positive role model requires some forethought, effort, and self-control. Kids recognize hypocrisy so be consistent in who you are and what you expect from your child. If you don’t want your child hitting others, avoid spanking them. If you want your child to be polite, be patient with the waitress who keeps messing up your order.
It’s inevitable that you’ll fall short in your efforts to show consistency, don’t worry though, that’s okay! Show consistency in the way you handle mistakes and conflict. Bounce back and let patience, forgiveness, and resilience be the lessons modeled at these times.
Tip #4 – Eat Dinner Together as a Family
Effectively working with others is a critical “puzzle piece” in life. Allow your child to help out with dinner preparations. They can learn from you as you help facilitate an atmosphere of teamwork.
As you sit around the dinner table as a family, children will learn from behavior modeled within the family dynamic. If the modeled behavior from family members is “less than ideal” at the beginning, take heart in the process. It’s unfair to expect perfection, and quite frankly, your child doesn’t need the unachievable picture painted of perfect family harmony. Just focus on modeling patience, progress, and resilience.
Tip #5 – Encourage Your Child to Have Other Role Models
Talk to your child about role models that you have in your life. Why did you choose them as a role model? How have you been influenced by them?
A positive role model can teach life lessons and naturally encourage kids to strive for success. Help your child understand that it’s okay to have multiple role models. Also, help them know that they may want to change role models over time, if necessary. Encourage your child to learn from many good people. Coaches, teachers, church leaders, older siblings, and neighbors are a good place to start as you work together to identify potential role models.
Role Model Quotes for Inspiration
“Your children will become who you are; so be who you want them to be.” – Anonymous
“The example we set for our kids – how to act when things don’t go our way – is much, much more important than the rules we set for them.” -Leo Babauta
“Are you the adult you want your child to become?” -Brene Brown
“Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate.” -Anonymous
“Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, movement, and action has an effect. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than the parent.” -Bob Keeshan
“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” -Rita F. Pierson
“Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating.” -John Wooden
“Be a wonderful role model because you will be the window through which many children will see their future.” -Thomas McKinnon Wood
“What a teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.” -Karl Menninger
“My mom was my role model before I even knew what that word was.” -Anonymous
“It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it myself.” -Joyce Maynard
Some Final Thoughts
Being a parent is challenging! But when you decide to actively be a positive role model in your child’s life, you will definitely see a difference. Kids imitate what they see and hear, so just be sure to keep that in mind when you are going about your day and may feel overwhelmed with everything your child needs to be taught. By being a good example, they will learn!
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