Your Children Imitate You
One of the key characteristics of children is that they love imitate. Whatever they see and hear, there is some kind of urge within them to follow the example. Child psychologists believe that children learn to imitate at a very young age.
Imitation is the way that children learn about themselves, other people and their environment. When they see how adults and older children behave, they will quickly learn what the acceptable behaviors in the family and at schools are. Similarly, they learn how to take care of themselves by observing how others are taking care of themselves. Adults tend to make verbal instructions to help children learn the right actions at the right time. But do you realize that our actions speak much louder than words. This is especially so in the case of children. Simple tasks like not eating foods drop to the ground, washing hands before meals and changing clothes when they get dirty are more imitating actions rather than listening to instructions.
At this tender age, who are the people these children are contacting each day? Before they go to school, they probably spend most of their time inside the house with parents, relatives and nanny. Without you knowing it, your child is watching at you very closely and modeled the behaviors and beliefs after you. Sounds scary, right? The impact you have upon the child is much greater than you think. Your way of life creates permanent images that will shape this little life for many years to come.
As parents, I have no doubt of your love for your children. You probably try your best to take good care of their physical, emotional and spiritual development needs. However, we aren’t perfect. Despite of our best effort to love them in utmost good faith, we may not have enough knowledge and experiences to fulfill our parental role wisely. This is especially true when we have our first child. We make mistakes (sometimes they can have terrible impact on the child’s life) as we pick up parenting skills along the way.
We learn to love our children responsibly and consistently.
1) Good Relationships within Family Members
One of the common mistakes parents make is being unaware of how your relationships with each other, with your parents and other family members are also part of your child’s life. Sometimes it is wiser to shield your young children from emotional and psychological harm by not showing the strife and hurt happening in the adult world. These young souls are just not ready to make any sense out of the complicated and dysfunctional relationships. They can pick up your attitudes and emotions easily and that creates insecurity within them. Your bitterness and resentment are strangely passed down to the young generations, sometimes without valid reasons. When you realize that you have made a mistake, it is always a good idea that you courageously admit your wrong doing and communicate your remorse and sorry honestly with all family members.
2) Show the Children that You Take Good Care of Yourself
When we are parents, we tend to focus our attention on what’s the best for our children. Naturally we are slowly and consistently neglecting our own needs. We need to remember that your children and the family are depending on you physically and emotionally. Parents can have the false guilt when they enjoy their lives as if they are committing an unforgivable sin to relax and pay attention on their needs. Family psychologists think otherwise. When you show your children that you love and take good care of yourself, it is an excellent way to teach them self-esteem. You need to plan for some activities of your own interests like going for a singing session with old friends or having a romantic candle light dinner with your spouse. You are living with example to demonstrate that you are a human with own interests and needs. Your children have to understand and respect that without manipulating your guilt conscience. This will also help them to model this important parenting skill from you when they are ready to be parents next time. In fact, it is also a test to see whether the children can do well without you with them for a while.
3) Show the Children that you and Your Spouse are in Love
I have seen many cases of tragic marriage where the mother focuses her attention fully on the children and continually neglects her relationship with the husband. Some husbands become angry and moody. They punish the children often for no good reason. Some husbands give up on the marriage and start having affairs with other women outside. Remember, husband and wife is first and foremost a loving couple, then you learn to be good and responsible parents. Nurturing the marriage relationship is essential in bringing up a healthy family. You communicate in a positive and healthy manner with your spouse, and show love and affection for one another. Your loving relationship teaches your child at the early years on what a healthy marriage should be like.
The Wooden Bowl Story
Once upon a time, in a village lived a couple. They lived with their only young son and an elderly mother. The old mother’s hands were weak that she could not hold a bowl properly. She broke a few porcelain bowls. The daughter-in-law complaint and made the mother a wooden bowl and asked her to have her meals outside the house.
Few years passed, the old mother died. At the burial, the couple threw the wooden bowl away. The young son quickly picked it up and asked, “Dear mom and dad, why did you throw the wooden bowl away?” The mother said, “We do not need it anymore. Your grandma has passed away.” The young son replied, “Mom. Please do not waste the wooden bowl. I want to keep it for you to use when you are older. I just need to make another wooden bowl for dad. “
Attitude is passed down to your children without you even noticing it.
Do As I Say and As I Do
Very soon you’ll realize that your children are patterning many of their behaviors, attitudes and actions after your own. To be responsible and loving parents, we are to ensure what we say and what we do around the children will build a strong sense of security and self esteem.
Like Mother Teresa, she walks her talk