Your child can become you

Mother being her daughters role model

Being a parent essentially means being a role model for your little one.

Children are often compared to sponges – it’s amazing, if not a little terrifying, how easily they pick up adult behaviour from people around them or even in the media they consume. Hence, here are 3 ways you can be a good example for your little one to follow!

Be the person you want your child to become
Try not to assert expectations that you or a family member does not practice, or does the opposite. For example, if you’re trying to foster a positive behaviour like keeping good hygiene, set a good example for your little one by practicing good hygiene yourself. Make a show of throwing rubbish in the bin, wiping up after meals and washing hands before and after meals in front of your little one.

Control yourself instead of your child
Your little one is at an impressionable age, and will likely pick up your habits and mannerism as they grow up. This isn’t to say parents have to be perfect; we make mistakes too. But you can try to minimise the negative behaviours you don’t want your child to learn.

For instance, if you have a habit of shouting when angry, talk it out with your little one after tempers have cooled because you wouldn’t want your child to scream at another kid in the park when they’re upset!

Help your child learn through experience than out of fear
As much as we would like to set a good example for our children, the hardest part is actually letting experience be the teacher instead of ourselves. Instead of disallowing or threatening your little one from doing something you don’t want them to do, you can let them try it out and learn from it.

There are exceptions, of course, when safety is concerned like touching hot or sharp objects, or running across the street without supervision. But if it’s something like learning to ride a bicycle without training wheels (even though your little one may be too young to balance well), your child will be able to learn for themselves that they are not ready instead of holding it against you for not letting them try.