A parent would desire to be a role model for their sons or daughters. It is probably every parents’ dream to be their child’s role model.
I personally believe that parents can be the most influential influencers in a child’s life. Before you talk about peer pressure, social media, etc, parents still hold the number one position in their child’s life. Our children are predisposed to want to imitate their parents and do what they do. That’s the natural order before things start to change.
The years between birth to 10 is a very powerful time for parents to create that bond, and to create their relationship with their children. It is the perfect time for your children to understand what your values are as a family and to be able to answer what their parents stand for? This is where you set that foundation. It is just like building a house with a faulty foundation there will be problems with the structure later on.
How can Parents be role models?
Your children, especially digital natives, must understand where you are coming from and understand what you’re thinking about. From being their guide as babies, to toddlers, adolescents and teenagers, you are in the right position to bring your children up to become the adults they ought to be.
To be a role model for children today, your digital native, they need to actively choose you to be their role model by themselves, you can’t force yourself to be a role model. Nobody can force their child to take them as a role model, it needs to be something your child does willingly on their own, by identifying with you, or by watching your life, to the point that there are certain things in your life that they want to model themselves. The reality is that you need to be real because if what you say and what you do, do not align there will be challenges. Once your child tags you as hypocritical, it can be very difficult to change that label.
So our children are going to look at us and constantly ask themselves if you are walking your talk and are you doing what you say? Click To Tweet or do you change the rules based on who you are speaking to, or based on how you feel.
Build a real relationship where you discuss all issues.
No issue, no topic should be off-limits with your children today. Remember, one of the biggest things about being a parent today is the fact that you don’t have the monopoly on information, your children can get the same content you can get. In fact, they might know what’s going on even more than you. The only way to truly get a space in their head and to know how they are feeling or how they see the world is to truly be able to discuss deeply with them. This is when you have a chance to be a role model.
Take the time to understand how they see the world without judgment. So this is a time to drop the drama and literally, just be there with your children and listen to them have conversations. You know, don’t always be lecturing them, if you respond with drama all the time, or always shouting or exclaiming, they’re not going to tell you very much. Try to see the world from their perspective; because remember that the childhood your children have today and the childhood you lived is very different. If you don’t understand something, ask them, and if you need to take some time to go and learn a little bit more about that topic, too do so.
Understand your child’s interests
It’s one thing to have deep conversations, but you have to have a relationship with them, which means you hang out together, you get into their world with them. If your child plays video games, play those video games with them. And then, if your child likes watching youtube, watch their YouTube channels with them. Get into your child’s world and bring them into your world as well.
So if there are things you like doing like playing card games, and things like that, you want to make sure that you bring them into your world as well in a fun way. Build experiences together.
Share life expert experiences with them
Too many parents behave as if they become adults overnight. The reality is that every adult today every parent today had a childhood. One of the best ways to build rapport with your children is to share your life experiences with them and even share when you make mistakes. What are some hard lessons you learned something you wish you had known? it is fine to share it with them. Obviously do so within the right context at the right ages. Let your children have a view of who you were before you became mum and dad.
It really helps them to see how you lived your life and how you made decisions. When your child sees themself in your story or empathises with you, then it is easier for him or her to say you know what? I feel my parents. And this is what adds to the likelihood of a parent being a role model.
Have a positive attitude
Everybody is attracted to people with positive attitudes, even when we talk about social media, if you go to somebody’s page and all they talk about is how gloomy the world is, and how down they are, you’re probably not going to follow them.
Most people are attracted to people who are happy and positive. So if that’s what people are attracted to, even on social media, imagine if as a parent, all you do is to complain and moan about traffic and how tough life is, or always lecturing your children. Then guess what? they are not really going to want to spend a lot of time with you.
I don’t mean you should pretend but have a positive outlook on life in general. This can help your children to say, no matter what my parents, are faced with they think of a solution; and think how am I going to get through this. This is also where your faith has a chance to show up. That is when you show your child the power of prayer, focus and resilience. Really all of those things we want them to miraculously just adopt; but they have to see you live it. If you have a positive attitude, it is very likely your children will pick that up.
Nobody is going to mention a role model in life; whether a basketball player or a public figure, who is very sad and unhappy. Right? Most people are going to choose somebody who’s doing things that they want to do or who is an inspiration.
Valuing yourself and have self-love.
You know, if you want to be a positive role model, you must be somebody who seems happy, who prioritizes their self-care and their mental state. When your child watches you take care of yourself; and have rich friendships, they see you putting your best into everything you do. They see you having fun with life, having a good outlook, and being upbeat, all of these things really add up. Your child starts to see that even with all the responsibilities you have you take care of yourselves.
Finally, remember that for a parent to be a child’s role model, your lifestyle needs to be attractive to your child. Spend time understanding your child, especially as they grow older and intentionally be a part of their life.
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