Parenting is a fundamental aspect for the development of a child from the cradle into adulthood and your role as a parent is unending until you bow out of the earth. A role model is an example whether in the positive or negative. As a parent, you are a role model to your children as they take after your example and learn faster by what they see you do than what you say to them. I want to share a few examples to buttress the role of parents as models to their kids.
Firstly, a middle-aged man who was accustomed to shouting in his home recounted his experience. He would yell at his wife, his kids etc at the slightest provocation. As his son grew into a teenager, he began to yell too just as his father does, he said to himself after a brief sober reflection this habit this boy is exhibiting was copied from me. My second example is that of an older relative who drinks alcohol and entertains his guests with the same. On a certain day he had guests, he entertained them with alcoholic beverages and drank with them as well as they discussed and had fun. When his friends were set to go, he escorted them out of the house as we typically do in my local setting. They had contents left in their cups and bottles unattended. His little kids, still tender at the time went to the table, took the cups and began to drink before he returned. He came back to find them behaving as drunks will do under the stupor of alcohol, he promised himself he was never going to drink again. Sundry times, I have yelled at my toddler, don’t do that! However, the instructions I’m dishing out to her are things I do myself habitually. I have unconsciously modelled that kind of behaviour to her and she has copied the same from me.
Sometimes, pause and observe yourself, your mannerism, etiquettes and general conduct. You will discover that certain habits and features you are trying to correct in your children, you taught them by being a role model to them. As it is in the negative, so it is in the affirmative, if you do the wrong things whether consciously or unconsciously, you have also taught your child to do the wrong things. Some parents want their kids to be honest, upright and industrious but they model the exact opposite. Some parents even want their kids to be Godly, they want them to go to church and behave as Christians but they stay back at home to watch TV when it’s time to go to church. A father models philandering to his children and he has expectations for his daughter(s) to be chaste and wants to implement same with some stringent rules or disciplinary measures. It doesn’t work that way, he will end up raising rebellious children because charity begins at home.
Dear parents, our kids are watching us and learning from us. Some kids carry on the same practices and attitude as modelled by their parents into marriage and relate with their spouse and kids just as their parents did to them. Some children even amplify the same habits their parents modelled for them and exhibit them in a greater dimension. However, some children may not exactly copy everything from you or may drop certain habits they learnt from you as they interact with others and acquire knowledge, howbeit, it is good you play your part by modelling the right things to them. Instructing our children is great, but more importantly, model the right things to them.
Be a good role model.