“Children Learn More From What You Are Than What You Teach.”
The other morning while frantically getting everything together for work and my kids ready for school, I noticed my son trying to shove a handful of papers and pencils into his backpack. After a loud bang from his backpack being thrown on the coffee table and a powerful grunt, I knew I needed to intervene. Through tears he explained how he was frustrated from everything not fitting in the small pocket he wanted them to be stored in. While validating his feelings and offering him other ways he could have handled the situation he tells me, “well you were getting all mad this morning too!”
It was on my drive to work when I realized how right he had been. Although I teach my kids different ways to appropriately manage and express their emotions, if I’m not utilizing those skills, then why would I expect them to? Rather than learning from all the appropriate skills I spend time teaching them, my kids internalize and are influenced the most by those moments that are, let’s just say, not my finest. According to research, “how you behave sends a signal to your child that this is the sort of behaviour that you approve of. If what children observe from your behaviour is different to what they are being told, then your child is likely to become confused, and possibly resentful. It may also blur expectations and boundaries, leading to conflict and frustration between you and your child” (Reachout.com). We must keep in mind that our children observe, listen, and remember. Bottom line is, we make an impression.
So, whether we want to or not, we are role models. And this can be a scary realization. Keep in mind, nobody is perfect or knows all the right answers in life. Our kids may model our worst qualities every once in a while, which is okay! That’s normal! What matters is being intentional about what you model for your children.
The following are just a few things to consider modeling for your children:
-Healthy lifestyle habits
-Self-control/ Positive coping mechanisms
-Being respectful, kind, and empathetic
Let’s be good role models for our children, no matter their age.