Parents have a tremendous amount of influence in the development of a child. Children learn many of their habits by observing their parents’ behavior. Here are 10 ways that you can teach by example and be a positive role model, to benefit your children’s development:
- Healthy living
Eating right and exercising on a regular basis not only improves your own health but also sets a good example for your child.
To help teach your child to make good food choices, involve him or her in the planning and cooking of well-rounded meals. Try to include a lean protein in each meal, such as chicken or fish, along with vegetables and fruits. When your children see family members enjoying nutritious meals, they’ll be more likely to eat healthy, too.
Exercise as a family when possible. A family workout plan can include time in a gym or active time outdoors, such as playing tag in a park, riding bikes, hiking or swimming. Exercising together can help families to bond while reducing stress, improving health, and letting children discover fun new ways to exercise.
The “Golden Rule” – Do unto others as you would have others do unto you – should not be taken lightly. If your children attend day care or have a babysitter, for example, they will interact with other adults and children on a regular basis. Set a good example for your children by showing them how to respect and be kind to others. When children see considerate behavior, they learn about behaving in the same way.
Whether you choose to volunteer your time as a family or donate resources such as outgrown clothes or canned food, it is important for your child to see you being generous so that your child can learn the value of helping others. Here are some resources for ways to become involved in your local community.
When your child sees you showing honesty, such as apologizing for a mistake or trying to track down the owner of a lost wallet, they’ll be more likely to model your truthful behavior and do the same.
- Acceptance of Others
You can teach your children by example to accept others regardless of any differences. Your children will learn the important lesson of being open to everyone regardless of who they are, what they do, where they live, where they come from, what they look like, or what they have. This is more important than ever for success in our global workplace and economy.
Genuinely listen to what other people have to say, whether or not you agree with their comments, because that’s one way we keep growing. Your child will notice your consideration for other people’s approach and points of view, and will better learn how to think for himself or herself.
- Being polite
Always be polite to others, no matter the circumstances, and whether in public or at home. Whether giving up your seat to an elderly person on a bus, or holding a door open for a stranger, or simply saying “thank you,” you’ll be setting a good example for your child to follow.
- Valuing family time
Show your children that you enjoy and look forward to spending time with them. By scheduling family time, such as daily sit-down dinners and a weekly family game night your children will learn to value the importance of family time.
Aim to maintain consistent behavior in your lifestyle, such as by following a daily schedule, implementing a routine, and talking rather than yelling. Children thrive on consistency and stability, so when they see permanent, healthy parental consistency, they learn to emulate them. Here are ways you can create consistency in family life.
- Participating in school activities
Attending and participating in your child’s educational and extracurricular activities lets your child know that you support his or her education and interests. You can volunteer to be a coach for your child’s soccer team or organize snacks for after a game. When your time is limited, make an effort to keep in touch with teachers and other parents, to stay on top of what is going on in the classroom and on the field.