It’s something we hear about so much: setting the example for our children. And while we may think that we are, in many respects, a model citizen, how many of these actions do our children really see? If you really want to start setting the examples for your children, you need to let them see you are doing some of the following:
As adults, we can feel that once our working day is done, we can switch off. The fact is that if your children can see you brushing up on your language skills by attending Spanish classes or practicing a musical instrument, these are little things that will instill that sense of personal development in our children as they get older.
Donating to Those in Need
Something that our children need to see us do, especially in the current climate. When we are not using old books or games, why are we hanging onto them? We can explain to our children that donating an old video game is going to make a big difference to someone else. Because if it’s a game that we gave to our children for Christmas that they don’t play with anymore, we can explain how it is going to elicit the same reaction from others. And this “transfer of happiness” can be something that resonates with our children.
Holding the Door Open for Others
We are always in a rush, but holding the door open for someone will take 4 seconds of our time! When we pause to hold the door for someone behind, this is a very simple lesson in teaching our children how to put others ahead of themselves.
Sometimes, we encounter people that really don’t make our day. The hardest thing as parents is when somebody is incredibly passive-aggressive or rude. Our children can begin to see this as the norm, but this is where you need to start offsetting this attitude by remembering that whole “do unto others as others would do unto you” approach. But what we need to do is remember that being nice and complimenting others cost nothing and we can help others. We don’t want to be selfish, but we also want to make sure that we are confident within ourselves. There are so many people that can take advantage of nice people, which is why the next point is so important.
Understanding the Importance of Self-Confidence
If we, as parents, are not confident in our abilities, this is going to pass on to our children subconsciously. Some people don’t believe in being nice, but if we want to be someone that sets the example for children, we’ve got to do all of these things, but at the same time we’ve also got to have that assertiveness and self-confidence so if someone is trying to get the better of us, we know the cues to stop them in their tracks. Sometimes it’s about having that understanding that you are stronger than the other person, but it’s also about understanding that when people are like this, you let the baby have their bottle.
Ultimately, it’s not just about being a supportive parent; we’ve also got to set the right example.