A Parents Guide to Being a Good Role Model
Are You Going To Be The Best Role Model For Your Child Or Will You Leave It Up To Others?
WELCOME to the parenting site! We have all heard how children can keep you young, but they can also keep you busy. I hope that by looking at this site you will find fresh ideas and effective parenting advice that will challenge, motivate and even make you smile.
If your children are keeping you young then you are on the move, you are changing and developing. The challenge as today's parents is to hold on to your faith and beliefs and be a good role model at the same time as striding out with your child, ready to discover and explore new things together. Phew! That is quite a lot to achieve, but don't worry. Look out for Why Being A Good Role Model Is Important and How To Be A Good Parent Role Model. You will also have the chance to say what you think. So read on- and enjoy!
Why Being A Good Role Model Is Important
Looking at yourself
Do you ever look your child in the eyes and think for a moment, "I am looking at me"? Most of us do in the physical sense, but how many of us feel that in the spiritual or emotional sense? Do you, for example, think that your child has your temper, your patience, your negativity, your caring nature or other aspects of your character? Too often we see the negative things all the more on the days when we would rather not be reminded of them! Who can ignore the big red spot on the end of your nose when standing in front of the mirror?
Can we ignore the less physical traits when our children are with us? Some of us will feel very angry when our child displays such traits, which could explain why one child might make us feel more angry than another. How many parents moan that their children "make them so angry?"
Children soak up and learn so much from their carers, whether good or bad. An adult who has spent their life learning to live with fear for example, will instinctively teach it to their child by the way they live. When we lived in Germany, we used to take back jars of Marmite with us on our visits to England. A German family ate with us on one occasion and as the child reached for the Marmite jar, the mother instinctively said to him, "you won't like that." Her dislike became his. If there are things that your child does that really annoy you, you can either get angry with him whenever he displays them, or you can be the one to admit the truth, if he is mirroring something in you that needs to change. I am not saying that every naughty thing your child does is because of you, however in some of the areas where you might feel the most extreme emotion, that is probably the case.
Learning by example
It is humbling, for most of us would prefer to be the ones as adults, who have "got it right," but the child's trust in you as an adult will be greatly enhanced if he is able to see you being honest about your faults as well as your good points. Not admitting with a sense of resignation, but offering the faith that you are intending to sort these areas of your life. That is not to say that there won't be many areas which do not need to change, which are positive and the child can naturally grow in, but let's be real and admit that we do not have it all. You can allow our child to learn from others who have got it right in the areas where you have not. You also need to find the balance in who you are, to be yourself with quiet confidence and yet able to tell yourself that you are on a journey of change. This is what having children is all about.
New life, new hope, new possibilities.
Children are like soft clay. How sad when we become hard and are no longer pliable or able to change in an ever-changing world. Next time you and your child are having fun with the play-dough, tell yourself that to be yourself you need to be someone who is willing to become a good role model, unashamedly more and more each day. God loves you just as you are, but he loves you too much to leave you just as you are!
In the meantime, we can be grateful for the little mirrors that God gives us. I sometimes wonder whether those who live with children have the opportunity (if they want it) to become more holy, clean or better people at a quicker rate than those who don't. Can we expect our children to "pull up their socks," if we refuse to lead them by example?
Your Opinion On Role Models - What do you think?
Is it important for children to have both male and female role models?
9 Ways To Be A Good Parent Role Model
Here are 9 suggestions on how to do it!
- Create opportunities where you can do enjoyable things together.
- Lead the way in being open and honest, allowing your child to see that you are not afraid to show your emotions, without offloading onto them.
- Let them see how you manage relationships, not by gossiping or judging but respecting, honouring and forgiving others. If you have relationships that are not good, work on them so that your child can see how people matter to you.
- Teach your child things that are important to you, such as manners, how to pray etc.,whilst they are young so that when they are older "they will not depart from it." They will then be able to decide for themselves whether they want to follow your way of life.
- Without going into unnecessary financial detail, let your child know when you need to save for things or wait until you can afford something. Learn together the value of things, that sometimes take time and sacrifice, not to mention hard work to attain.
- Don't just DO the chores, but work in an attitude of giving life to your family. If you don't appear to do them willingly, don't be surprised if your child isn't interested. Let it be an honour and let them feel that they are a part of the family by sharing in the life of the family in this way.
- Positive parenting includes giving lots of praise and encouragement and letting them know how you appreciate them. Don't take them for granted if you don't want to be!
- Enjoy your femininity/masculinity in a healthy way, without guilt or shame, especially mothers with daughters and fathers with sons. Let boys be boys and girls be girls!
- Be a good listener. If you give them good eye contact when talking and listening to them you can expect them to do the same. Learn to see things from their perspective.
Time For Kids
"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3v1)
Time to stop and look at the butterfly on the way to school
Time to read a story before bed
Time to thank God for the food before eating
Time to count the ducks on the lake
CAN YOU FIND THE TIME???
© 2009 Christine Hulme