What to Change to Be a Better Role Model for Your Children
As parents, we only want the best for our children. In a heartbeat, we’d put our own safety and wellbeing on the line to help improve theirs. But life isn’t a zero-sum game. In fact, the more we lose, the worse off our children will be.
This is why it’s so important to take care of ourselves as parents. We need to show our children what it’s like to be healthy, well-adjusted adults.
So, where do we even start?
It’s one thing to say, “I need to be healthier,” and it’s quite another thing to actually make specific and targeted changes to improve your health.
In this post, we’re going to break down some of the specific and targeted changes you can make to become a better role model for your children.
You may be rocking some of these things already. If that’s the case, kudos to you! But if you notice anything that could use some work, it’s probably a good idea to roll up your sleeves and make some changes. If only for the kids’ sake.
Here are a few things to consider changing if you want to be a better role model for your children.
If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, you’re far from alone, but it’s probably not the best example for your children. Instead, teach your children the value of money by saving and budgeting for all the fun things you do.
Talk to your kids about the budget and how money is a limited resource that you need to manage. It’s not enough to have and spend money. If you can provide financial security for your children, they are much more likely to become financially stable as adults.
If you tend to eat out at restaurants often, you may want to make a change to your eating habits. Not only is it expensive to eat at restaurants,
but the meals you’ll get are high in sodium, fat, and sugar. And you’ll have a much healthier experience when you cook meals at home. This can also be a great opportunity to spend quality time cooking meals together.
In this society, it’s easy to become self-absorbed, especially when you’re struggling to keep your own head above water.
But when you have time or money to give to help others, you can set a great example for your children about important things like philanthropy and empathy.
And if you want your kids to get a front-row view of this great example, find opportunities where you can volunteer together as a family. You may volunteer to clean up trash at parks, clear trails, or serve food to those in need.
Most kids spend the majority of their time wishing they were adults, so they can finally get out of going to school. But if you make a commitment to learning throughout your life, your kids will see that learning isn’t something to escape.
Sure, there are benefits to learning at your own pace. But when you make a commitment to learning, you can always improve and grow. This is something we all want for our children, so it’s something we should show them by example.
Some parents attempt to hide failures from their children because they think it preserves some sort of superhero image.
But that superhero image is impossible to live up to. If you appear superhuman to your kids, how will they ever follow in your footsteps? Failure is a part of life, and your kids need to see you take it in stride.
If you get fired from your job or passed up for a promotion, use the moment to help teach your children how to handle failure. As much as we want to shield them from pain, we can’t. So the next best thing we can do is teach them how to handle it.
If someone in your family has a problem, show your kids that they aren’t alone. Show them that you’re willing to learn about the problem and do what you can to help.
If someone is depressed, this could mean learning about depression and getting them the help they need. If someone is addicted to drugs,
it may mean recognizing drug paraphernalia and staging an intervention. Your kids should know that no matter what happens, they are part of a family that sticks together.
Effective communication is the key to any healthy relationship, and it starts at home. If your kids see you and your partner arguing and stonewalling one another,
they’re probably going to mimic that behavior as adults. But if they see you setting an example for healthy communication, they’ll have a roadmap to mimic that behavior themselves. And this is helpful for more than just romantic relationships.
Healthy communication will help your kids foster close friendships and work relationships. Healthy communication may even help your child advance in his or her career as an adult. This is one skill that cannot be underestimated.
When your kids see you setting and crushing goals, they’ll do it too. Through goal setting, your children will learn to benchmark their progress.
So, as a goal-setting role model, you should get into the habit of setting and achieving goals to illustrate the importance of organization and self-discipline in your daily life.
When they’re ready, help your kids come up with age-appropriate goals they can crush in their own lives.
Being a good role model is a round-the-clock job, but it’s important to remember that we’re also human.
We aren’t going to get it right 100 percent of the time, and that’s okay. We can always use those times as teachable moments to show our children to practice patience.
Ultimately, in whatever you do, think about whether you would want your children to grow up as adults who do the same. Because in reality, they probably will. As a role model for your children, be the adult you want them to be.