Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.
Presidents’ Day conjures up visions of our country’s great leaders and their ability to guide our citizens during times of growth and plenty and during times of stress and great challenges. Oh, to have that level of influence! But wait…. You do — maybe not for the whole country, but for your own children.
As a parent, it is impossible to not be a role model. Your children are watching you and will see your example – positive or negative – as a pattern for the way life is to be lived. The old adage of “Do as I say, not as I do” simply does not work. This puts a lot of pressure and responsibility on you to do “the right thing” and to be very aware of your own behavior. For example, if you don’t want your child to spend much time on “screens,” then you need to put your cell phone down.
Here are some ways you can make sure that you put your best foot forward and be a role model that you will be proud to have your children emulate:
- Take responsibility for your behavior by admitting your own mistakes and talking about how you can correct them. Do not blame things that go wrong on other people or circumstances.
- Choose your words carefully. Your children are not only watching you; they are also listening to you. Consider how you speak to your children, your spouse, and other people in your life. For example, do you use harsh words and threats when your children misbehave or do you respond with discipline based on respect for your children’s humanity?
- Show your children constructive ways to manage disagreement. For example, include your children in family discussions, and use these as ways to show them how people can work together. Getting upset or angry when a problem comes up teaches your children to respond in the same way. You can use problem-solving skills to deal with challenges or conflicts in a calm and productive manner.
The bottom line is, if you wish for your children to have certain traits, then you must do and be these things yourself! As Thomas Jefferson wisely noted, act as if you are being watched… because you are!By Audrey Krisbergh, Certified Parenting Educator