CHILDREN ARE INNOCENT LEARNERS; THEY LEARN THROUGH OBSERVATIONS. BE A ROLE MODEL TO YOUR KIDS
Children are brought into this world without the knowledge of anything. With time they get to imitate their parents or whoever is in charge of taking care of them. Parents are the first role models and teachers to every child; reasons why as a parent you must make a deliberate effort to be a good role model to them.
Make sure whatever you’re doing is worth imitating because children learn more from observation at an early age. When they get to the known age of understanding words, ensure whatever you say to them is in line with what you do. You know the saying “Practice what you preach”. It comes in here, because they will surely learn by following your behavioral pattern.
Parents who are well mannered, polite, respect each other, and people around them are likely to have their kids behave in the same way. If you say please when asking for something, they’ll also learn to say please when they need something. If you’re the kind of parent that completely puts people down and shows no respect to people around you, indirectly you are teaching your kids that other people do not matter.
It is also very important to be consistent in your teachings and parenting pattern. If you’re a dad and you tell your son it’s bad to hit people, but he finds you hitting your wife (his mum), he will begin to get confused because your teachings differ from your actions. Whatever parents are doing around their kids, indirectly, it is registering in their subconscious mind, be careful the way you speak. Most times your children may be playing or watching television, but they know everything that is happening around them.
One day, small children from the same parents are having a misunderstanding, it happened that the girl is the senior to the boy but as they were exchanging words, the boy told her sister, if you think you are strong, come closer so that I will beat you as dad beats mum.
Living an exemplary life matters a lot in the life of our children because they are picking every little thing we do. Even when you have a misunderstanding with your partner, try as much as possible not to show your anger in the presence of your children, you guys can settle it in their absence.
Sometimes, whatever children gather from their parents linger in them for a very long time, most of them carry the experience to their own family because they thought it is a normal way of living, they will start treating their partner the same way without knowing it’s not the best. God entrusted those children in your care, do your best to bring them up the best way you know how.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL TO YOUR KIDS
- The first reason is definitely that God demands so from you. You are given the role of a steward, a caretaker to your kids and if you fail, you will be disappointing God. If you’ve recently become a Christian and you have no idea of what the bible says about parenting, it’s essential you do as it will guide you through this process.
Proverbs 22:6 (Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it) clearly urges parents to train their kids in a good way.
Ephesians 6:4 says “Nurture them in the discipline and instruction of the lord. Colossians 3:21 also says – Fathers do not provoke your children so that they won’t be discouraged. Be delicate with your words, it should be soft and encouraging.
Provide for your kids because 1 Timothy 5:8 says- “But if anyone doesn’t provide for their own, especially his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. A child sees his parent as his primary provider; make sure you’re not failing in that role.
- We have heard stories of parents blaming themselves of being the cause of their kids negative behavior and some kids growing up to become terrible citizens causing chaos and havoc due to poor home training and most times they tend to blame their parents for this.
- All these can be avoided by laying a proper foundation for your children. Again parents suppose to be on the same page while training their children, be consistent in whatever thing you are doing, don’t try to buy favor with your kids by making them to see you as the best and look less on the other. Let your words be the same so that your children will not manipulate you, they are very smart in manipulating their way.
There is this woman, she never allow her husband to talk to the kids, each time her husband was correcting the kids because they did something wrong the woman will come and interfere, at a point the man was having concern and reported her to her family but she continued, one day the man told the wife that she is not helping the children instead she is killing them but she didn’t listen, few years later the man died, left the children with the wife, that was when she realized her action because when the children needs something and she refuses to give them, they will beat her mercilessly till she surrender.
Along the line, her daughter got pregnant and she sent the daughter out to avoid what people will say, both her and the daughter lose contact, the daughter went with one guy that accepted her, every year she gets pregnant and delivers the baby, three babies under four years. As a parent, you suppose to speak the same language, use the same voice in raising up your children. If you speak the same language, it helps children to understand very well and differentiate good from bad.
- Being a good role model will help establish a strong bond between a parent and the child. There will be a times a child will face some problems among his classmates, friends and teachers in school. But a child who sees his parents as a good role model and has established a bond with them will always be willing to disclose that problem to them. Knowing that they will teach him on how to go about that problem, motivate him and encourage him. Bring yourself down to your children’s size and speak the same language with them, don’t always put up a mean face and acting busy whenever they need your assistance or want to play with you. Your primary assignment is your children so you have to give them undivided attention.
- By being a good role model to your child, you are automatically setting standards for them to live up to. As they watch you strive towards achieving your goals, they will be willing to follow your footsteps. They need the right inspiration and coaching to do so and it is your responsibility to give it to them by being a good role model.
TEACH YOUR KIDS BY LIVING EXAMPLARY LIFE AND NOT COMMANDING THEM TO FOLLOW YOUR WORDS ONLY.
Being a good role model doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, have a perfect life, make the best decisions or be a multimillionaire. Your child just needs unconditional love, support and guidance to be successful in his endeavors.
These steps could be a guide
- Start Early: As said earlier, children learn my observing and imitating. Especially when they can’t speak. They watch your behavior and it begins to register in their subconscious mind. It’s never too early to start instilling good values or leading by example. Keep a positive attitude by doing those things you want your child to do, you can’t be giving instruction and you don’t observe them, children mostly learn by seeing what you do, so don’t contradict what you say.
You can’t tell your children not to talk while eating but you are always talking whenever you are on the dinning, or you will be on the phone talking to somebody each time you are eating. How do you think that it will work? Because they always observe your action and you always do opposite of what you say. Make it a point of duty to practice what you teach because it will be easier for your kids learn and put those things they learn into practice.
- Be open to them: Being a role model doesn’t mean you have to be perfect like I said earlier. We all make mistakes as human beings. Let your child know the real you. Talk to them about your failures, fears, mistakes, good and bad experiences. Setting unrealistic boundaries and image of yourself is never the way forward. Tell them about your childhood, the mistakes you made and the result, tell them how to avoid making same mistakes. This will help them build a strong character and have a positive approach towards life and their goals.
- Be Affectionate: A happy and positive child is one that is nurtured with unconditional love and care. You don’t need to be Bill Clinton to do these. Love is not about buying the most expensive clothes, shoes and bags for your kids. It is about being present in your child’s life, showing interest in what they love, being present in their school presentation or talent show to cheer them on. Your presence and cheer alone boost their confidence level and self-esteem. Your kids want your undivided attention, show them care, let them grow as kids, don’t deny them the opportunity to have quality time with you as they are growing up.
- Be a good listener: Children always have a lot they want to share with you when they get back from school and every other place, they tend to visit without you. It is important you give them a listening ear. Share in their joy and laughter. You will be surprised at the kind of scenarios they sometimes create in their head and there is a whole lot you can learn from them, also teach them during this listening period. Again, be a good observer around your kids to detect when something is going wrong so you will be able to help them before it’s too late.
For example A child who gets bullied, molested or is being influenced by his friends to do something bad may develop the courage to tell you, but because you don’t listen to them, they will end up keeping to themselves or seeking council from the wrong person and you may get to find out too late when the deed has already been done. Sometimes, it can lead the kids to commit suicide because parents are not there to guide them or shower them with love.
A child committed suicide due to bullying at school and the parents did not detect any changes in his behaviors, for them, things are going normal but for the child, life is boring and wicked.
The child was behaving normally at home, but most times stays in his room strategizing how to carry out his action, that fateful evening, he came back from school and his parents back from work. After having dinner, he told his parents good night, exchanged his love for them, they all laugh and the child went inside his room took something, and die, in the morning when the parents notice what happened, they saw a letter beside the guy, that was when they realized that their child was in agony all this while but pretending to put up a smiling face just to make them happy.
Parents invest in your children; they are a precious gifts from God. At their early age, your responsibility is to shape, correct, advise and always be there for them, acquiring material things over your kids is not the ultimate because material things never finish, if you don’t get it today, you will definitely get it tomorrow when they grow up but now nurture the children God has given to you.
- Be Optimistic: The best attitude you can express towards a child is positivity. Try as much as possible to stay positive during tough and testing times. When your child talks to you about a problem he has, tell him challenges are steppingstones to greatness. To be great, you must go through challenges. Don’t try to be unrealistic or make your child delusional. Teach him to always stay focused and positive. Don’t be overprotective, allow them to take risk, even if they fail, encourage them and teach them how to do it next time. It helps the kids to build self-confidence and have positive attitude towards life. Kids that were raised in this manner always thrive in life because in their mind, they always believe they can do anything they set their mind on.
- Be Disciplined: In as much as every child needs unconditional love and care, they also need to be disciplined. Set boundaries when necessary. Correct them when they are wrong or going astray. Tell them what they have done wrong and why they shouldn’t do it again. Discipline them in a positive way, redirect their bad behaviors by giving them consequences of their action, for instance, if a child refused to clear his toys after playing, tell the child that he/she will not be allow to play with the toy for couple of hours because of the behavior and make sure to reward positive attitude, even if it’s praise. Be firm and clear with instructions and commands, keep it direct and simple and make sure you follow through so the kids will be able to correct themselves. Avoid negative words and also be patient with them knowing that children are prone to mistakes.