Studies show that toddlers as young as 14 months can imitate behavior with as little as 20 seconds of exposure. What does this mean for you as a parent? We’re glad you asked! Setting a good example is a critical part of parenting. No matter what age, your children mimic your behavior, which is why parents must set a good example, and we are here to help show you how to do it with this simple guide for positive parenting techniques.
Let’s take a look!
Positive Parenting Starts With You
As we said, your behavior directly affects how your child will behave. Although you might feel that you are teaching your child how to be kind and live morally, you might be engaging in subtle behaviors that influence their actions. Here is what we mean…
Say, for example, you are expressing the importance of getting along with others to your child; you can say this until you are blue in the face, but if you and your spouse are fighting at home, they are more likely to follow your actions rather than your words. The same goes for almost everything else in parenting.
If your child sees you behaving in a way that directly contradicts how you are telling them to behave, it can become confusing for them, so it is important for you to follow the guidelines you set for them. This can be especially difficult given the current state of events. Parents have been quarantined with their kids 24/7, so maintaining a perfect example at all times can prove difficult. However, this guide can help you out!
A recent study revealed that 76% of parents were still doing mundane tasks like appointment scheduling for their adult children. This kind of behavior only hinders a child’s ability to grow up and become self-reliant.
Teaching your child basic life skills is a must in terms of setting a good example. Here are some must teach life skills:
- How to write and/or endorse a check
- How to make a reservation, appointment, etc.
- Proper grocery shopping skills
- Basics of OTC medication
- How to fix a flat tire
- General understanding of taxes
- Job interview skills
These are just a few of the things you can show your child how to make their adult life easier. By including your child in these tasks as they apply to you, you will be leading them by example and experience.
Studies from the CDC show that almost 20% of the children in the United States struggle with obesity. Unfortunately, children who struggle with their weight in childhood will more than likely have issues as adults, so setting a healthy diet for your family is crucial.
When you lead by example and prepare healthy meals and encourage exercise, your child will follow your lead. With that being said, it is important to set up healthy guidelines without being overbearing as it could cause unsafe dietary habits for your child. Consider teaching your child about the importance of nutrition and making exercise a fun activity rather than a chore.
Suppose your child sees that you are blowing off work or quitting a job for trivial reasons. It will set the example that a steady job is not important. Your child might apply this to their schooling and begin to slack off or skip classes based on your regard for your job.
Show your child the value of an honest day of work, and encourage them to take pride in the jobs they do, such as chores around the house. Additionally, you could consider trying to do some volunteer work with them. If you set an example that helping others or the community is a good way to give back, they are likely to continue that behavior as they get older.
Respect and Patience
Manging back-talk and fighting amongst siblings can be one of the biggest challenges for a parent. However, when they see you behaving with empathy to others, it sets a standard that they will follow. If they see you becoming quick to anger at a cashier because something is not going right, it sets the example that they don’t need to be kind in situations that are causing frustration.
Show your child that you can remain patient even in moments of duress and that you can remain respectful to others. When they see you behaving this way, they will be more likely to emulate that behavior at home with their siblings and out in the world with others.
Chaos and Calm
Every home has moments of chaotic energy, and that is okay! With that being said, constant bickering, yelling, etc., can hardwire your child for anxiety and bad behavior. Practice finding better ways to get your point across to your child without yelling at your child.
Constant scolding can make a child become resentful and can lead to issues of insecurity. Show your child that you can calmly express your emotions to get your point across so they can learn from your behavior.
Setting a Good Example as a Parent
Setting a good example is mostly about managing and monitoring your behavior first. You are your child’s guide in navigating emotions and responses, so taking the time to work on yourself is a crucial first step in the process of positive parenting.
With that being said, remember, no one is perfect! It takes practice to become better, so don’t be afraid to cut yourself a little slack. Just keep this guide close when you feel a little lost, and it will help you get right back on track!
Parenting isn’t a cakewalk…That’s for sure! However, with the right skills, it can become easier. Check out this page to learn more about positive parenting life hacks and make life’s toughest job a little more manageable!