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Children are born with limited knowledge of life. Parents are the first role models that children meet. Therefore, parents are responsible for teaching children how to talk, how to walk, important values, and how to make healthy and wise decisions. Given this awesome obligation, parents have probably found parenting a challenge at one time or another. So, be patient as children learn to grasp life lessons as they grow up. Remember, no one is perfect and we all make mistakes.

Becoming a Parent

Many thoughts may cross your mind when you become a parent such as:

  • What kind of parent will I be?
  • Will I be like my parents?
  • How do I teach my child good manners and how to communicate effectively?
  • How do I teach my children compassion?

The irony is that you may find yourself doing or saying something you learned from your parents. You might even hear these familiar sayings:

  • The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
  • He’s just like his father or she is definitely her mother’s daughter. 

With time you can become the ideal parent and role model for your child.

What is a role model?

By definition, a positive role model is an individual we want to imitate. Role models are usually people who display good values, strive to achieve greatness, and inspire others to reach their full potential.

Role models must also understand that family dynamics have become increasingly diverse over the years. With such family diversity, parents, guardians and other role models can be helpful in showing children how to appreciate and respect all families and cultural differences.

Getting off to a Good Start

National 4-H youth development programs demonstrate that children who grow up with positive role models generally make better decisions. They are also less likely to compromise their values and are equipped to handle negative influences from peers and/or social media.

Popular psychotherapist and author Stacey Kaiser from Live Happy Magazine (2015) outlines some ways to help parents get off to a great start as role models:

  1. Help children to focus on the positive.
  2. Make sure there is good verbal and non-verbal communication.
  3. Help children to feel and see genuine support and a sense of community.
  4. Display respect, kindness, and compassion for yourself and others.
  5. Practice respect and tolerance to provide clear standards of acceptable behavior.
  6. Develop fun and interactive family bonding moments that share the interest of all family members.

Being a positive parent role model means that parents should strive to become better versions of themselves.

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