NO ONE is a more important role model for a child than their parent(s) – not a teacher, not a rock star (not even Bowie) and not a friend.
So here are five foolproof ways to be the best possible role models for our kids:
1. Walk the talk
There’s no point telling our kids to cut down on the sugary snacks if we’re saying it through a mouthful of KitKat! While we get that there are different rules for kids and grown-ups, practising what we preach sends a clear consistent message to our kids. Besides, the last thing we want is for them to think we’re hypocrites right? Particularly when we’re trying to discipline them…
2. Strive to self-improve
It could be a new course, a hobby or trying something different and ‘out there’ like archery or rollerblading! Whatever it is, continuously striving to learn new things and develop ourselves sends a strong positive message to our children, one that will stay with them throughout their lives.
3. Volunteer or get involved with a charity
Whether we’re organising a fundraiser for a local charity, helping the homeless or giving our time or talent to a cause you believe in, our generous and socially responsible actions are setting an important example for our children.
4. Practise a positive attitude
While there’s no doubt things can get us down at times, practising a positive attitude in front of our kids is crucial. And we’re not necessarily saying we always have to sanitise the darker side of life, the important thing is that we show our kids we can deal with whatever may come, and that there’s always hope and goodness in the world.
5. Respect ourselves
Doing ourselves down in front of our kids – whether that’s calling ourselves stupid, or saying we’re overweight – will only serve to send the message to our kids that we think we’re unworthy. Kids follow our lead, so it’s very possible they will start to see themselves in the same light. We need to respect and love who we are, and learn to see ourselves the way our kids do, or risk damaging their precious and vulnerable self-esteem.