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Tips for Effective Role Modeling

Breaking the cycle

Part of why qualities of parents are often repeated in their offspring is genetic, says Audrey Krisbergh, director of the Center for Parenting Education in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania.

“This indicates the power of ‘nature,’ that is, heredity. But part of the explanation also lies in the impact of the environment in which a child is raised, which is referred to as ‘nurture.’ ”

The answer to the age-old question of why children often seem so much like their parents probably is that both nature and nurture play a role in how children develop. And, of course, both of these influences come from a child’s parents.

“The question isn’t whether your children will emulate you; they will. The question is which behaviors they will imitate,” Krisbergh says. “Through role modeling, you have the ability to influence your children’s development in positive ways and make it more likely that they become people you will admire when they mature. What kids see and believe, they become.”

Tips for Effective Role Modeling

Include your children in family discussions, and use these as ways to show them how people can get along with others and work together.

Practice what you preach. Children notice when you don’t.

Work towards a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising regularly. Avoid making negative comments about your body and other people’s, too. Not only will you be healthier, but you will also send an important message about body image and acceptance.

Show that you enjoy education and learning. If you make it seem interesting and enjoyable rather than a chore, you child is more likely to have a positive attitude toward school.

Keep a positive attitude in your life: think, act, and talk in an optimistic way.

Take responsibility for yourself by admitting your own mistakes and talking about how you can correct them. Do not blame everything that goes wrong on other people or circumstances.

Use problem-solving skills to deal with challenges or conflicts in a calm and productive way. Getting upset or angry when a problem comes up teaches your child to respond in the same way.

Show kindness and respect to others in your words and your actions.

 

Source: Center for Parenting Education

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