Our children are our world- and we are most definitely theirs. In the early years of life especially, your child spends so much time with you that it’s inevitable that they will pick up your traits and learn an awful lot from you. Often, they will do as we do, and not as we say.
And so as parents, we all want to make sure we’re doing what we can to set a good example, put them on the right path and ensure they make the right choices. Here are some powerful ways we can all set a good example by our children.
HAVE A STRONG WORK ETHIC
Having a strong work ethic can really put you on the right path in life. When you’re motivated to do well and have ambition and goals, it allows you to work towards the career of your choice and be a productive member of society. If your children have always seen you working hard then chances are, they will develop the same attitudes.
Parents can’t always work full time around raising kids, but perhaps you could work part time or do some flexible hours? Maybe you could set up your own business, taking a qualification first such as https://studyonline.aston.ac.uk/programmes/msc-business-management-online would give you plenty of background knowlegde and information and improve your chances of success.
Teach the importance of setting goals, as well as let your kids learn about money and its value. Letting them earn pocket money in return for doing chores is one way to do this. Encourage ambition, as them what they want to be when they’re older and tell them what kinds of steps they will need to take to achieve that goal. It doesn’t matter if the career choice changes, it’s about planning ahead and having aspirations. Working hard and going to university will usually be the first steps for most good careers.
EAT HEALTHILY & BE ACTIVE
Make living a healthy lifestyle, being active and enjoying nutritious foods the norm. If this is the standard way you live your life (instead of viewing it as ‘being good’) it will be easy to follow for both you and your children. Learn some healthy, family friendly recipes and bonding time should involve activities that get you all up and moving. Hikes, bike rides, sports, games at the park, even things like water fights in the summer will get you all running around. Instead of driving everywhere, get used to walking as many journeys as you can, these kinds of things will all encourage kids to be active and it’s something they will take with them throughout their lives. Far too many of us are sedentary, and obesity is an epidemic. Living a healthy lifestyle is great for you, and sets a really good example going forward for your children.
BE CONFIDENT & SOCIAL
There’s nothing wrong with being a quiet child, but shyness can really hold them back. It can cause kids to not want to interact with peers, meaning they miss out on valuable friendships and connections. Even if you’re not the most confident person yourself, it’s something you could work on for them. If they see you being open, friendly and confident with other people it shows that they can be the same way. Mixing with lots of other adults and children can get them used to socialising and allow them to learn conversational skills, and prevent them from fearing interaction. Spending time with different age groups can be useful, they can learn a lot from their peers, they can learn to respect their elders and how to communicate with babies, younger children and people with various disabilities. These are all valuable skills that will help them as they go through life.
BE KIND, CARING & CONSIDERATE
One of the greatest gifts you can give to your child is the ability to be kind and considerate. Empathy isn’t something we’re born with, it’s a learned skill and your child will learn it from you when they’re young. Empathy gives us the ability to feel what other people feel which allows us to better understand them. In turn, it allows us to form better, more meaningful and lasting relationships throughout our lives. Being kind yourself will enable children to learn what being kind is and put it into practice themselves. This can be things like sharing toys, waiting their turn and helping someone who’s upset. If you have a volunteering role, perhaps at a hospital or a soup kitchen then once they’re old enough to understand then bring them with you. This teaches them gratitude, knowing that other people don’t have it as good as them. It teaches them that helping others feels good, and can make a genuine difference.
Please and thank you go a long way, kids won’t always be perfect with this so it’s all about reminding them often until eventually it sticks. Small things like holding a door open for someone behind or thanking the bus driver for example aren’t things that children will naturally know how to do. If you’re raising a boy, you might want to teach traditional ‘gentleman’ values such as carrying a girls books, pulling their chair out for them to sit on and opening a door and letting them go through first. Manners show respect, and where respect is given it’s often returned. Making sure you’re using good manners yourself will be observed by your child and in time, is something that they will do naturally.
We might not be perfect people, we’re just parents doing the best that we can. But having these things in mind might help when you’re considering the best ways to raise your child. It will put them on the best path for a happy and successful adulthood.
What do you think are the best ways that parents can set a good example when raising their children?