14 Ways To Be A Better Role Model For Your Child via @carinkilbyclark

14 Ways To Be A Better Role Model For Your Child

As a parent, you know your children pay more attention to what you do than to what you say. We have a responsibility to demonstrate the behaviors we want them to have. To be that role model and show ’em how it’s done. Because our children are watching.

They look up to you and imitate your actions. In fact, modeling is one of the most effective ways to encourage the values and behavior you want for your children.

Start these 14 tips to help you be a better role model for your child.

14 Ways To Be A Better Role Model For Your Child via @carinkilbyclark

Role-Modeling for Social and Emotional Development

1. Resolve conflicts.

Show your kids how to settle differences peacefully and respectfully. Be willing to forgive and collaborate on reaching compromises.

2. Listen attentively.

It’s easy to become distracted when your child wants to give you a 30-minute recap of a 10-minute cartoon. Remind yourself to be present for them. Be true to your word if you suggest talking about it after you finish making dinner.

3. Cultivate healthy relationships.

Your children observe how you interact with others. Give them a head start on forming strong and supportive friendships by establishing a pattern they’ll want to follow.

4. Be kind and generous.

If you want your kids to share their toys, you need to do the same. Sign up for family events where you can volunteer together at a food kitchen or animal shelter. Speak politely to others even when you’re in a rush or feeling blue.

5. Grow spiritually.

Encourage your children to find a purpose in their life. They may decide to stick with your faith tradition or use it as a stepping stone in forming their own beliefs.

Role-Modeling for Healthy Behavior

1. Make healthy food choices.

One out of three children in America are overweight or obese. You can help your sons and daughters lower their risk for diabetes and other serious health issues by managing your weight and making smart food choices. Minimizing junk food and getting most of your calories from vegetables and fruits are two of the most effective strategies.

2. Exercise regularly.

Physical activity is another important part of the equation. Buy a family gym membership. Walk up the stairs instead of using the elevator, especially when your kids are around.

3. Continue learning.

Minds need conditioning too. Your kids are more likely to read books and be interested in science if you join them for bedtime stories and creative play.

4. Manage stress.

Teach your kids how to respond to pressure and make time for relaxation. Invite them to meditate with you, and turn off your phone during dinner.

5. Demonstrate safety.

Kids tend to think they’re invincible, but you can train them to make caution a habit. Explain why you don’t drive when you’re tired.

Role-Modeling for Financial Responsibility

1. Stick to a budget.

When your kids ask for fancy electronics, turn it into a teaching moment. Reveal how you balance your income and expenses. Reining in excess spending now will help your kids avoid credit card debt later.

2. Save for the future.

Put aside some money from each paycheck for retirement or home improvement projects. You may inspire your kids to devote a portion of their babysitting loot for college.

3. Pursue meaningful work.

Bring your kids to the office or take pictures so they can see what do for a living. Describe how your interests led you to your current career.

4. Break free from materialism.

Most of all, clarify your own philosophy about money. Your kids will notice your priorities.

Naturally, you’ll slip sometimes…we are only human after all.

So don’t beat yourself up if you find that you’re not setting the best example sometimes. Use those setbacks as learning opportunities to discuss what happened and make positive changes.

Your children are watching each move you make, so guide them towards happiness and success.

I want to hear from you!

What are some of the ways you model the behavior you want to teach to your child(ren)? Please join the discussion in the comments section below.

Comments 39

  1. This is something that I struggle with. I try really hard when I am with my kids, but I know they see me even when I am not aware they are watching. It is even more important to be consistent in my behavior than the ebbs and flows I might feel.

  2. This is a fantastic post. I think we all can be more aware of our behaviors because there are always little eyes on us. Not just our own kids, but those that see us out in public. You point out some wonderful points and I will be working on making sure my behavior is in line with what I would want my kids to see.

  3. These are all so important, but I think the Role-Modeling for Financial Responsibility is the most important. It is so easy these days to get into debt.

  4. I love my mother but she could have used this when I was younger. The first time she and my daughter had a conflict, when she was a toddler, it was bad. I had to explain to my mother to stop yelling and explain to my daughter why she shouldn’t act that way.

  5. I don’t think I’m going to have children for the next decade, but I’m already thinking about the role model I want to be. It’ll be easier said than done like most things to do with parenting.

  6. Great tips!!!! Ever since my daughter was born I definitely try to be a better person to kids. I want kids to grow up to because strong awesome people and that only happens when they are surrounded by good 🙂

  7. I am always open and honest with my son. I feel that showing him how to be a good, open minded and kind hearted person is a great way to be a role model to him.

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  8. These are truly good tips. I especially like the one for managing stress. I show my kids how I manage it so they can see and not be overwhelmed.

  9. I think those are really good tips. I agree that listening and being kind are definitely two of the most important things when it comes to dealing with children specifically!

  10. These are great tips. Seems most of us spend a lot of time working, and not enough time focusing on being a better role model. I love that you mention listening. It’s hard to always be present while they are talking, but so important.

  11. Great stuff right here. It’s important to instruct our children in all these different ways–emotionally, financially, and health-wise. These days with all our electronic distractions, I think REALLY listening to our kids is a huge deal!

  12. This is a great reminder of the importance of doing what’s right and being a role model for your child. I try to teach and model selflessness every day. It’s important to foster compassion and consideration in our kids.

  13. You have compiled a great list of ways to be a better role model for your children. I don’t have any children, but these are all ways I wish my own parents had been a role model. Any child would prefer this over other options!

  14. I totally agree that we should all be better role models for our children and grandchildren. I hate to hear parents screaming and/or cursing at their children, then brag that they don’t spank them. I wish they knew that mental/emotional abuse is just as bad.

  15. As parents I think we can be good role models not only for our own children but for those who may not have a good role model in their life. That continues on in adulthood as well. As a parent of grown children, I realize they still look to me for advise, just on a different level.

  16. I love the comment about listening intently as I have found this to be true over and over again as a father. This is a great list for any parent, thanks for sharing!

  17. Very good tips. A little 4 year ols walked out of the store the other day with her mom and said, it’s hot as hell out here. I wanted to laugh, but I wanted to tell the mother, do you see she picks up things you say.

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