A toddler’s world is a toddler’s school, and you, as parent, are the most influential teacher. To pass along good habits to your child, start with what’s most in your control: your behavior. Children do what they see, not necessarily what they’re told, and so setting a good example for your little one starts with you. Here are some tips to help you set a good example:
Being Mindful of Your Choices
Setting a good example for your toddler starts with you. Be aware of what you do and when, including the words you use to express emotions, particularly anger or frustration. Take note of anything that you wouldn’t want your toddler to mimic or copy, since bad habits can’t be erased overnight. Next, make small modifications to eliminate any of your “bad choice” word choices and replace them with more appropriate words, such as “G-rated” words – especially at home.
A particularly important habit that children learn at home is how to eat. A child’s understanding of good nutrition, snacking, portion control, and overall health comes from the behavior of his or her parents. So, aim to avoid “worthless” calories and over-snacking; replace sugary drinks with water, and keep plenty of fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods readily available. By demonstrating healthy eating, you’ll make it much easier to pass that same good habit to your children.
Remaining Patient and Calm
A parent’s life can be hectic, requiring the juggling of work and family responsibilities. If a parent loses patience quickly when something goes wrong, the toddler may get frustrated easily, too. Adopt a calm, peaceful approach and don’t overreact to annoyances, especially when driving. Road rage and other adult “temper tantrums” communicate to the child that intolerance and frustration are acceptable reactions when feeling inconvenienced. Instead, show your toddler that it’s important to wait your turn and to consider other people’s feelings as well.
You still want to remain genuine, of course, letting your true self as a parent shine through. The goal isn’t perfection or to put on a facade in front of your kids, but remembering to be more conscious of what you say and do, so that you can show your children how to respond to life.
Check out the SlideShare deck below for more tips to setting a good example for your toddler.