Whilst every child may be different and every living situation may be different (perhaps you’re a single parent or perhaps you have a loving partner), there’s one rule to parenting that holds true universally: you need to be a good role model. You’re not the only influence on your child’s life, of course. They’ll be influenced by teachers, friends, and other people they meet throughout their life.
     However, there’s something special about the person who physically raises a child. Your kid looks up to you, whether you realize it or not. That means you can have a very positive influence on this young person’s life by giving them guidance and showing them how to get by in the world. It’s a chance to be a better version of yourself too. Here’s the 101 on being a good role model to your child.
Lead by example.
     As mentioned above, being a role model to your child is all about how you present yourself. It’s no good to bark instructions at your children and then do the exact opposite. You need to lead by example. If you tell your kids that they need to be nice to people then you can’t be openly mean or rude to others in front of them. Teach them that random acts of kindness to people we meet can make all the difference because, hopefully, the favor will be returned to them.
Deal with relationship issues.
     Many parents make the mistake of prioritizing their child to the extent that they neglect their own personal relationship. It’s not a mistake to prioritize your child, of course, but it is a mistake to assume that the best way to do this is by putting everything else in your life on hold. If you’re having problems with your partner then you need to find a way to work through them. That might involve going into counseling or something as simple and straightforward as finding the time to sit and chat; make a schedule and book in dates on certain evenings. The best way for parents to be good role models for their child is to be supportive of one another.
     Of course, even if your relationship with the child’s other parent is beyond repair, that doesn’t mean you can’t still find a way to support one another as friends. You might want to do some research into divorce by mediation because the most mature way in which the parents of a child can deal with the dissolution of their relationship is to develop an atmosphere of mutual respect. The most important thing in this difficult situation is your child, so finding a way to resolve financial or emotional issues behind closed doors is the best solution; you certainly don’t want to argue in front of your little one. You need to make sure that you and your ex-partner are on the same wavelength in terms of providing the best future for your child. If you can, at least, be mature enough to remain friends then this should be possible.
Remember that you’re a parent above all else.
     Whilst you should strive to be your child’s friend, you shouldn’t strive to be their “chilled-out” friend. What this means is that sometimes you have to be uncool for the purpose of looking out for your child’s best interests. You might receive huffs, puffs, and protests in response, but the best way in which you can be a responsible and caring role model for your child is to do things in the interest of their own safety or happiness. You have to teach them that we can’t always do the things we want to do; sometimes, we have to stop and think about whether our decisions are sensible.
 


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