Have you ever had one of those moments where you look over at your precious little toddler only to witness them doing something you wish they wouldn’t and realized that they got it from you?
Children learn to imitate from a very young age and you can darn well bet that they are keeping a close eye on you as they learn. Children imitate their parents, what they see on TV, friends and family; it is how they learn to act, develop new skills, care for themselves, and communicate with others.
With this in mind is there anything that you would like to change about some of the things you do in front of your children. Every parent out there probably wish they could have at least a thousand “do overs”. Before you can teach your children the difference between right and wrong you need to know the difference yourself. Obviously most already know this, however over the years people may get conditioned with patterns of behavior or beliefs that may not be healthy for your children to pick up. Parenting by example doesn’t always mean you are going to be passing along only the good about you. Your examples become permanent images, which will shape and define your child’s attitudes and actions for the rest of their lives.
It is important to be responsible, consistent and loving with your child. The same is true for other relationships in your life such as spouse, family and friends. Relationships with others make up a big part of our lives and we should model what it is like to have different kinds of loving and healthy relationships. We all make mistakes and if we can show our children how to learn from them, apply corrective action and be a better person they will have a more joy filled life.
Your child must also be taught how to take care of themselves at times. Again they learn this by watching you. When you take time out to take care of your needs they see that you not only care for them but you care for yourself as well.
So the next time you look over at your little angel wondering why they said what they said or do what they do, think about the things that you say and do around your child. You’ll soon see your child patterning many of their own behaviors after your own. So make sure that what you say and do around your child is positive and will build a strong sense of security and self-esteem.