As parents, we want to set the best example for our children. Everything from how they behave to their schooling to their eating habits are influenced by what they see from us. Children are incredibly observant creatures who absorb information like sponges. While you can be explicit with your messaging and instructions, they will also look to your behaviors and learn from you whether you intend that or not. Here are some tips on how you can improve your future that will also serve as valuable lessons for your child’s future.
The Purpose of Learning
Many of us have realized with age that schooling instills the lesson that children go to school to learn and get good grades which can set them up for success in their next educational chapter and future success. This lesson leaves children with very little invigoration education and leaves many feeling less than excited about the learning process; however, you can help rewrite that narrative. Whether you go back to school to learn other skills, to obtain an online llm or you are just learning to learn, you can teach your children that learning is a lifelong process and not just a checkmark on an educational record.
Relationships With Food
Many of us grew up with an uneducated or warped view of food. Whether you grew up hearing people talk about diets, the clean plate club or negative views of food or bodies, you may have internalized some of that; however, you do not have to pass that along to your children. Instead of letting them internalize negative messages from listening to your negative feelings about your body, teach them about nutrition and how nutrients can fuel our bodies. Your relationship with food will have a strong influence on theirs, so it is important that you are mindful of your messaging. Instead of condoning or shaming body types, take time to educate your children about health, wellness and nutrition which can, in turn, help you reframe your relationship food.
Emotional Support and Asking for Help
Asking for help and support is something that many adults struggle with, but this is a story that parents can rewrite in their children’s lives. While you cannot change societal views of asking for help, at home and in your family you can help your child understand that asking for help is a normal part of life and actually, exhibits strength. This is another area where you can model good behavior and explain that everyone needs help sometimes. Not only does this teach your child to ask for what they need, but it also normalizes that others can ask for this as well, introducing empathy and kindness. While this is an important lesson for children, this is also a key reminder for many adults.
Kindness and Respect
Kindness and respect are areas that are often covered in some of our earliest memories and schooling. While we grow up hearing this, it can also be easy to forget these key concepts when life gets stressful. Instead of letting the pressure and challenges in life get the best of you, take a deep breath and take the opportunity to model positive behavior for your child. While you can read books about kindness and respect and explain why it is important, your kid will learn some of the most poignant lessons about how to treat others from watching you. It is bound to happen that you will lose your temper, you can also model asking for forgiveness and teach them another valuable lesson through this process. Luckily, this gives you a wonderful teachable moment in your little one’s life.
Children have a way of absorbing some of the most salient lessons without us even knowing. Being as they will gain a lot through this method, you need to be cognizant of what they are observing. While it would never be an expectation that any parent is perfect, you can help your child learn valuable lessons through your behavior and with this, you may actually improve your life too.