I have learned the hard lesson myself. After noticing my “pep talk” and sometime screaming at my kiddos losing effectiveness, I realized that a parent’s words don’t really carry a lot weight to the young heart. The true smart parenting should always be teaching them by example, and more specifically by your actions NOT words.
Through painful trial and error, now I clearly understand my kids really follow me and my husband’s lead. They just naturally copy our actions and life attitude in all kinds of ways. So it is important, as smart parents, to recognize this and make sure we are showing them the right path, and not just saying it (as they will turn a deaf ear to it anyway). As they always say – like father like son. If we want our children to act as we would like, we must first show them how to do so. Here are several examples of how this principle works in everyday life, and hence how important it is for you, as a parent, to always be on your toes and mindful of your own behavior.
An easy example of this is hobbies. If you spend a lot of time reading, your children will take note of this and be naturally interested in what you’re doing. They will ask what you’re doing, they’ll ask you if they can join Daddy, and in no time they will be begging you to get them some books of their own. Reading is an essential life skill, something you want your children to have a passion for from early on, but it is also a hobby you can bond over.
In a similar sense, if they see you get stressed out and lose your cool over a problem, whether it be getting the weekly shop or heavy traffic on the way home, they will take your actions as an example and will start to lash out when things don’t go their way. To be a smart parent, it is essential to be a role model for your children at all times, even when you’ve left the oven on or you put your purse through the washing machine. Take a deep breath, remember that your baby is watching and they don’t want to see their mommy upset. If it’s not that big of a deal, try to laugh it off and remember not to cry over spilt milk.
Swearing follows exactly the same rules. Children are very keen to pick up on new words, particularly ones that seem to have a big fuss about them. If you use bad language around your kids then they are sure to repeat it sooner or later, at school or around their friends. This could cause them to get into trouble and be a big embarrassment for both yourself and the child.
Again the bottom line message is that we are shaping our children’s behavior and life attitude by the actions we take in every day situations. So the next time you intend to run a yellow light trying to save that 90 seconds with your kids in the back, you arel literally teaching them a possible fatal lesson to be a unsafe driver themselves. Pretty scary thought, isn’t it ?