Being a good parent isn’t only about providing basic human needs to a child or looking out for their overall safety, it is also about leading by example. Clearly you have more wisdom and experience you want to share with your child to gently nudge them in the right direction, but as you do, be aware that your actions will always speak louder than your words.
If you want your child to be respectful to others, make sure you are being respectful to those you interact with. It is fairly easy to be calm and dignified when everything is going smoothly, but how do you react when things go wrong? Be cognizant that you have impressionable, young eyes on you and by watching how you deal with adversities, they are learning what they perceive to be the ‘right way’ to deal with others.
In today’s world, a traditional nuclear family is not the only model society has accepted. Some children may have no blood relation to their parents for various reasons, they may have resorted to adopting a child, for example. Some families may have two moms or two dads or even be raised by a single parent. The family dynamic may be constantly changing, but you should always maintain clearly defined expectations and be sure your children know they are loved and supported in both good times and bad.
Acting From Experience
All parents project what they have been exposed to, whether they mean to or not. You know the scary feeling of scolding your child and hearing your parent’s voice in your head? Whereas reliving the negative experiences we were subjected to as a child is normal, the good news is, you can learn how to combat these types of reactions and how to quash the negativity instead of passing those experiences along to your children.
Reflect on any painful and traumatic childhood experiences from school or at home of your own and identify what about those experiences hurt or upset you. By understanding and coming to terms with your own negativity, you will learn how to communicate with your children with compassion and understanding.
Children learn from their own experiences. Regardless of how much you preach or scold, the words you say to your kids will rarely impact them as much as what you subject them to. Children imitate the behaviors they observe; especially early in life, those observations are on your actions. If you lead your own life with integrity and sound character, your children will imitate your positive traits. Being a good role model is the single most important thing you can do to be a good parent to your children.
In order to raise happy and healthy kids, you have to embrace and acknowledge positive experiences. You are improving your child’s self-esteem by celebrating their accomplishments, regardless of how small. Offering praise when your child reaches a goal will reinforce their sense of pride in themselves.
Generally speaking, people are quick to point out the negatives in life. If you dwell on highlighting this type of behavior, even if in hopes of correcting it, your efforts are counterproductive. Instead, make sure to catch your kids doing something right and praise them for it. Knowing they are doing something that you are proud of will encourage more positive behavior than scolding them for doing something wrong.
Set rules and guidelines and be consistent with upholding them. When children have well-defined parameters for acceptable behavior, it helps them to learn how to make the right choices and understand that the wrong choices will result in consequences.