Have you heard the saying “You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips”? This is most valid for children. Read on.
We often don’t realize that children learn faster by observing others than by listening to instructions. They largely learn how to behave by observing and imitating others. Their observational learning is not only confined to school and home but also happens in public spaces such as malls, grocery stores or playgrounds. Children observe pretty much everything around them to sense the right behaviour that will be accepted in society. As primary caregivers, parents have the largest influence on how children adopt different behaviours in order to become balanced individuals. What children repeatedly watch in their formative years becomes a part of their personality in later years.
While early childhood education programmes inculcate manners, teach children how to understand and express emotions, along with academic advancement, it is eventually up to parents to reinforce positive civic behaviour which ultimately moulds the child’s personality for a lifetime. Despite this being obvious, we as parents do end up behaving recklessly, which may seem justifiable to us, but may impact our children negatively. Here are a few fool-proof ways in which you can ensure your children are modelling the right behaviour from you.
Watch your tone
As adults, it is easy for us to lose our patience and temper without realising that children are around us. However, as the role models for our children, it is imperative to practise mindfulness. By excusing ourselves from the child’s presence when our tempers are high, we can control what children absorb from us. Take a break from the child’s presence, and you can then sort out difficult situations. How we speak, be it with our parents, friends or the househelp, shows children the tonality and language that is acceptable in everyday conversation. It is wrong to use curse words or excessively negative words. Additionally, the language used at home will impact the child’s thinking, so stay away from making any sexist/ gender-related/derogatory remarks and comments.
Be aware of the content you consume
Children look up to their parents and often try to imbibe qualities from them. This is also the case with the content that is watched/read by adults. As parents, we should be aware of the type of content in the household. Parents should distinguish between children-friendly content and content that has negativity, slurs or violence. Simple things such as the kind of music parents listen to, or the TV shows that they watch influence a child’s personality.
Keep your phone away
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July - August 2019