For most children, the most important role models are their parents, who have a regular presence in their lives. Role models are people who influence others by serving as examples. They are often admired by the people who emulate them. Through their perceived personal qualities, behaviours, or achievements, they can inspire others to strive and develop without providing any direct instruction. In fact, social scientists have shown that much of learning that occurs during childhood is acquired through observation and imitation.
Your children will see you as an example – positive or negative – as a pattern for the way life is to be lived. Therefore, you can be either a very important protective factor (an environmental influence that protects against negative behaviour) or a very powerful risk factor (an environmental condition that is associated with an increase in negative behaviour) for your children’s development, depending on what you do or do not do.
Everyone has few bad habits we need to surrender, but it’s often our day-to-day actions that our children pick up the quickest — and can mimic to perfection. From how you talk to your spouse to how you talk on the phone, anything you can do, your child can (and will) do better. Though it is exhausting but try always to give your best behaviour.
Being a positive role model actually requires effort, forethought, self-control and most importantly patience. Because your children are watching you all the time, your actions, beliefs, and attitudes become integrated into your children’s way of being; therefore, it is very important that you be very intentional and careful about what behaviours you model for your children. Being aware of this huge responsibility can encourage you to better yourself.
Common sense, simple observation, and psychological research show that these down-home adages reflect a truth in human development – that children often grow up to mimic the behaviour, beliefs, and attitudes of their parents. Children whose parents smoke are more likely to smoke themselves. If parents abuse or consume alcohol or drugs, their children are more likely to do the same. Children raised in homes that experience frequent domestic violence are more likely to either abuse their spouses or be abused by them. Adults who were abused as children are more likely to abuse their own children. These are some common examples seen.
On the flip side, children also repeat positive behaviours they see in their parents. Children whose parents have healthy self-esteem tend to be more confident and hold themselves in higher regard. Children of happily married parents tend to find the same satisfaction.
Research shows that kids of age 5yrs to 10yrs spend a lot of time observing their parents before they attempt something. Often little boys copy their fathers, and little girls model their mothers.
Parents should understand that their behaviour and emotions affect their kid’s behaviour and emotions. Successful parents become a model of responsibility. They should focus their attention and energy on the positive aspects of their behaviour. They should emphasise on cooperation, control over anger and patience. Plenty of patience is needed. When your child turns 7 years and above, he/she starts to develop the behaviour patterns.
We have gone from 24 hrs dry cleaning to one-hour dry cleaning, one-day eye glasses to 30-minute tune-ups, one-day photos to 10 min, microwave dinners, smart phones and express lanes have conditioned us to expect instant gratification ion. Technology has taught us impatience. We believe that because we are trying a new idea, changes should take place overnight. But our children are not technology; once they are wrongly diverted they cannot come to the right lane.
So parents –Be careful, as your children are influenced by you and your behaviour. They are your future shadow.