Being a parent is no easy feat. No matter where you go, someone is going to have an opinion on the way that you do things. The good news is that the only opinion on your parenting that’s going to matter is the one that comes from those you are raising: the children. Believe it or not, your children spend all their time appraising your patience, your reactions and the way that you do everything. They will mimic your behaviour and carry that with them their entire lives. That one day you were really tired and brushed them off for five minute peace? Your children will remember that. The time you spent playing board games instead of working? They’re going to remember that, too.
You are the biggest role model that your children are going to have, so whether you walk your toddler through how to eat with their knife and fork, or you sit down with your teenager and apply for college while they’re doing their own applications, you’re going to rub off on your kids. Teenagers need guidance and while they would never admit that they want to follow in your footsteps, many do. The most powerful role model in the world for your children isn’t a celebrity or a sporting great, it’s you – so, it’s up to you to learn how to be the most positive role model that ever lived. With the three tips below, you can get started!
Healthy Lifestyle. If you want your children to eat less junk food and be more active, then you can’t dictate this while sitting in an armchair with a bowl of chips and dips. Get together and bond with your children; go out on your bikes and bring a homemade picnic that you’ve prepared together. Living a healthy life can only happen if you do it as a family.
Big Ambition. Many parents make the mistake of projecting their life mistakes onto their kids. If you didn’t go to college when you wish you had, then that’s not on your children to make up for the mistake you made by doing what you want for them rather than what they want for them. Instead, make today the day you go to college and start studying from home here. If you show that you have big ambition, you’re going to spark their own desire to get more out of life.
Be Open. Children need some humanity, some reality and a dash of vulnerability from you to know that it’s okay to feel their feelings. If you make mistakes, don’t hide them. If you feel low and need to show your emotions, don’t hide them. Be open and show them that it’s okay to feel something.
Your children are going to go into the world functioning, happy and secure adults – or not – depending on the role model you are. Take the time to teach them slowly and appreciate them gently. You matter to them the most – the rest of the world’s opinions simply don’t count.