Role Model. Your Child is looking up to You!
Created by Bhavna Updated on Nov 16, 2012
"Your children will become what you are; So be what you want them to be – David Bly."
While shopping with his mother one day, my sister's son saw another 5 year old boy begging his mom to buy a new toy for him. After his mother refused, the child threw a full-blown tantrum right there in the shop by throwing himself down on the floor; crying and screaming. The next thing that we witnessed was; the embarrassed parent had given in and purchased the toy.
My nephew thought that the same might work for him and he too started with a tantrum of his own right there in the shop. As embarrassing as this was to his mother, she put a stop to his tantrum very calmly and then proceeded out to the car and left the store.
Needless to say, my nephew learnt a very important lesson that day.
Identifying the right role modeling
We as parents are the primary role models in our children’s lives and we can make sure that they receive the positive role models to look up to.
Positive role modeling is very essential for the character development of our children. By being a good example for them to follow we can inculcate values like respect for our elders, honesty, perseverance, Empathy, Sensitivity and understanding money management.
In today’s day and age, the children have many role models right from their peers in school, a popular movie star to their favorite character in a television program. All these people have some contribution to the child’s development and when one of these role models is seen badly in public or in his/her actions, then it may affect the child badly, may even leave a life long impact at times. Children might be compelled to follow the footsteps of these idols but in the end it may not have a positive reinforcing effect on their personality development. Many a times symptoms like bashful behavior, disrespecting adults, argumentative nature is a result of the negative role modeling.
When do you need to start worrying?
- Parents need to introspect on an urgent approach to role modeling if they see their child displaying the following symptoms:
- Sudden violent or aggressive reactions to regular situations.
- Short tempered behaviour because they do not know how to handle a particular situation.
- A child displaying lack of self-esteem and no inspiration.
- Defensive demeanor to compensate for lack of skill.
- Irrational and destructive behavior.
- Bullying or being insensitive to other children or related issues.
How to be a good role model for your child?
It’s an old adage, “Practice what you preach”. It is entirely true when one wants their child to be a grounded and matured. There are many ways in which we can make sure that we are the best role models for our children.
- Spending quality time with the child: When the role model spends time with a child bonding over games, fun, sport activities or things that a child may be interested in, it sends out a clear message to the child that the child is important and loved. This reinforces the feelings of self worth and self esteem.
- Nurturing a Parent–Child bond: The parent –child bond is established the moment a child is born, it continues to grow as the child grows but as time passes the child starts to become more independent and as a result the bond starts to weaken. Parents need to make sure that they find a common ground to bond over and maintain the strong connect with their child.
- Communication: Communication is the key for expression. As the child grows up, communicating ones feelings becomes increasingly difficult due to factors like generation gap, appropriate time, changing views and values. The Parent may work on ensuring that the communication from the child is not inhibitive in any manner. This will help the child understand the importance of expression and discussion.
- Practicing all that we preach: Children constantly watch how their parents react in a particular situation. The parent needs to be conscious about their reaction to a particular situation, as this is how they would want their child to react if s/he was ever in a similar situation, leading by example.
- Inculcating Values: The parents need to believe and practice the values that we want our children to follow. If you want your child to be sympathetic to others, empathetic to others, giving, loving and sharing then this needs to be followed by the parents for example once a child sees the parent help the elderly or the poor; perhaps the child sees this as the right thing to do and when the appropriate time comes, slowly and steadily this takes the shape of a value, a positive habit among young children.
- Respecting and understanding the child: Contrary to popular belief young children are capable of understanding and interpreting complex situations. It’s not always right to be dismissive of children’s comprehension with statements like, “you are too young to understand” or “ this does not concern you”. Once a child gets respect and understanding from the parents s/he will follow it as a way of life and will give respect to others.
- Reassuring the child of the unconditional love: One can never tell enough number of times to a child; how much is s/he loved. Love is the foundation of a healthy and stable mind and body.
- Encouraging the child to have independent thoughts and ideas: Despite trying to be a role model for your child, as a parent you need to foster your child to have independent thoughts and ideas so as to have a well balanced and overall growth.
As parents, we want our children to be happy and well adjusted adults, we can set a good example in front of them and hope that they will learn from it. That’s the least; we could do as a parent. I end my note with this quote, which in a way reflects our philosophy at parentune.
“Children learn from their surroundings, more so, they follow their parent as their role model. Children are their parent’s reflection. Remember, you are setting the tone for your child’s future with your actions today, every day.” – Nitin Pandey (Founder-parentune.com)
| Jul 12, 2018
Very informative and brief about how to be a role model. I appreciate you writing
| Jun 05, 2017
Very thoughtful.. Surely relates to what we should do to be good parent
| Nov 20, 2012
the title itself triggered so many thoughts. I am trying to become more watchful of my reactions to life situations, as they are being picked up by someone who is always watching!!
| Nov 19, 2012
good work bhavna
| Nov 17, 2012
Defensive demeanor to compensate for lack of skill - Absolutely true and overlooked by parents as just a temper tantrum... interestingly many of us ,rather most of us realize only at a later stage that the small things that we did when our children were toddlers actually made a huge impact on the way they deal with things. And then we want to 'fix' their behaviour. Great post, love the last point on how to be a good role model for your child. Only if all young parents were given a few lessons in parenting - would save everyone a lot of remodelling!!!
| Nov 16, 2012
Nice blog Bhavna. There is so much we, as parents, need to learn and follow. Indeed, we ought to be role models for our children!