“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.” (W.E.B. DuBois)
It’s easy to forget that we are our children’s primary role models. After all, we’re adults so we should be able to do whatever we want, right (“Do as I say, not as I do”)? Truth is though, this attitude only serves to shoot us in the proverbial foot, because whether we like it or not, our children model our behavior.
We’re bound to trip up sometimes and model poor behavior, but the reality is that we should make every effort to be conscious of our actions, since we are setting an example for our children. After all, we can’t very well expect them to be honest, if they hear us lying to our boss, nor punctual, if we’re always late. In fairness, we ought not to hold them to a higher standard than that to which we hold ourselves.
My daughter is a perfect example of this principle in action. Although she is very definitely her “own person”, I see myself reflected in some of her behaviors. Like me, she is hesitant to try new things (something I need to work on so that she doesn’t end up limiting her opportunities), but she is also the first one to hold a door for someone, or to pick something up that has fallen and put it back where it belongs, rather than just ignoring it, and she is at the front of the line when asked to give to others. These are behaviors that I have consciously modeled for my daughter, in the hope that she will incorporate them into her life.
Teaching positive traits and behaviors to your children doesn’t have to be a ‘scheduled event’…they can learn a lot from simply observing who you are and what you do.
Click here to see some more inspirational parenting quotes at Parents.com.