Are you a good Role Model?
Role models are an important part of human development. In order for a child to be healthy both physically and emotionally, it is important that parents model appropriate behaviors to them. Clearly, this is easier said than done. No parent is perfect, and we all have our share of bad habits that we as parents must overcome. However, what we say and do truly matters. Parental influence can last a lifetime and even has an impact on us into adulthood. So how can we model the right physical and emotional behaviors that will have a positive impact on our children? Here are some helpful tips that you can use in modeling behaviors.
- Introduce new social skills
Healthy social skills start with being polite and having good manners. As parents, it is vital that we teach our children these behaviors at home. Little things — such as saying thank you and teaching them to use a calming voice rather than shouting while discussing matters — will bring them long term benefits.
2. Demonstrate respectful, effective communication
Children and teens go through a wide range of emotions daily, and as parents, part of our role is to help them resolve these feelings in a healthy manner. One way to do this is by including your teen in family discussions and encouraging them to share their views. This teaches them to communicate effectively as well as reinforces that that their opinions matter.
- Acknowledge and own your mistakes
We all are human, and humans make mistakes. Do not be shy about apologizing when you make mistakes. Modeling this behavior shows our children that mistakes are part of being human and that one should own up to them.
- Regulate screen time
There is nothing wrong with technology or letting your child have screen time, but it’s important to keep this in check. Model healthy tech use by striking an appropriate balance between screen time and family time, reinforcing to your children the importance of family time. Set ground rules for everyone, such as no phone or screen time during dinner or an hour before bed time. Setting these boundaries helps teens learn that technology is meant to complement life, not control.
- Fortify them against peer pressure
Peer pressure is unavoidable. Expressing your opinion on smoking, drugs and alcohol will help your teen make the right choice when they are faced with a peer pressure situation. It is also important that we as parents “walk the talk” and avoid drinking and smoking in front of our children. Underscore the importance of saying “no” and walking away from bad situations. Have a plan to give them a way out if they find themselves in a compromising situation, and praise them when they make the right decisions.
Teaching our children how to create and maintain healthy habits in childhood will give them the strength, confidence, skills and resources they need to be happy, healthy adults.