Having children today is a tough job. There are so many negative influences in their lives. Now you don’t have to just worry about what they are going to learn from other kids at school. Celebs and athletes are role models for our children whether we like it or not. But are those good role models? The jury is still out on that one. However, the best role model for your children is YOU. Mom, dad, or both, you can make the biggest impact in their lives and help mold them into the best people possible.
For some parents this can sound like a daunting task. If this is you, below are seven tips on how to be a better role model for your children according to Dr. Phil in The Huffington Post:
- “Do you model a life of passion and purpose, a life in which you feel vibrant and alive? Or, does your life include things (e.g., your job) that you constantly complain about and profess to hate?” Children that have parents that have a vision or direction learn about the importance of creating a life that you want. Children see when their parents are unhappy with work/life and that may reflect negatively in your interactions with your children.
- “Do you model taking good care of yourself physically? Or, do you eat junk food, continue to be overweight, smoke cigarettes or not exercise?” Childhood obesity is at an all-time high across the country. It is important to model and teach your child healthy habits. This will have a positive impact on their self-esteem.
- “Do you resolve conflicts with other people effectively? Or, do you withdraw, stomp your feet, slam doors, get mad or do everything you can to avoid confrontations?” No one is perfect and every interaction won’t go as planned. It is important to model to your children through your behavior the right and wrong ways to interact with others.
- “Does your family see you handling life’s disappointments with a rational, positive strategy? Or, do you medicate the problems with addictive behaviors, such as overeating, or using alcohol or drugs?” Food for thought on how you and your family handle problems. Kids are like sponges; they see and pick up everything both good and bad.
- Do you model financial responsibility with regard to your bills and dealings? Or, do you overindulge and live beyond your means? Teach the concept of money at a young age. Consider giving your children a small allowance for chores. Make them save for special games/things they want to do. They will appreciate those things more if they had to work for them.
- Do you model high morals by avoiding such behaviors as gossiping, lying, cheating, and cursing? Again, no parent is perfect, but do you try your best to exhibit positive behaviors around your children. If you make a mistake such as gossiping or cursing, do you explain why that happened and why your action was wrong?
- Do you model social responsibility by volunteering at your church, school, or local shelters and hospitals? It is very important to teach children about giving back to others. In a society that is all about having the best clothes, toys, and house, your children need to stay grounded. Encourage them to give back in smaller ways like donating toys to a charity.
Whatever you do as a parent, the important part is to make sure you are honest with yourself regarding your actions. You want to try and model the best most positive actions for your children. And in those times where you make a mistake, be honest and work on a solution for the situation.