Importance of Play-Based Learning in Early Childhood Education
September 3, 2017

The Importance of Parents as Role Models

Parents as a role model

Parents want their children to excel and thrive inall their pursuits. However, parents may wonder what the best way to motivate them is. The best place to begin is by being an inspiration to them, by being a role model to your child. Children tend to learn the most from their parents. Thus, if you act as the ideal role models to your children, you will serve as the example and inspiration for your child to behave and act. You can set a precedent and a guideline for your child. This will have a positive impact on your child.

What is a ‘role model’? Prior to discussing how you can be role models for your child, let us begin by understanding what a role model is, what the essence of a role model is. In its most barebones form – role models are people who we look up to and admire for inspiration and motivation. People who we strive to be like. With parents being the ones to spend the most time with their children in their early years, they are the ones who are capable of imparting the most wisdom and knowledge to their children, thus making parents the best potential role models for their children.

As a parent, you are (by default) a role model for your child! Every word you say, action you take or have a reaction to someone or something – your child will keenly observe your behavior, even if you may not realize it. In your child’s early development years, they take after their parents. They rationalize every action, every word & every gesture.  They make sense of the world around them by imitating their parents. They learn to speak their first language by taking after their parents, their mannerisms and how they view the world. You may not believe it, but parents play an important role in their child’s development even up until their middle to late teenage years!

This makes it all the more important for parents to be careful of the words they use, their actions and how you handle your relationships with others around you, including your developing child. Truth be told, you are a role model to your child, whether you like it or not!The real challenge comes with whether you want to be a positive or negative impact on them. That is a choice that parents have.

But this does not mean that parents have to be perfect. “Parent by example” is the simplest, shortest, most effective advice one could give a parent. But this is easier said than done. There are days where we will say things that we don’t mean and act out irrationally; things we will regret later on. The simple truth is that none of us are perfect. We are all simply human; and we will do and say things that we will later wish that our child did not have to hear or see. The way you act after your mistake is just as important; if not more important than your actions prior. It is in these moments that you can demonstrate through practice challenging emotions such as empathy and sympathy, humanity, forgiveness, etc. So, the next time you act out in an unorderly fashion, take this opportunity and step back, explain to your child what just happened, how it was not wrong and help them understand why so, and make sure your children can see you apologize for your actions.

The development and nurturing of children is not the only responsibility. There are many more responsibilities and duties that come as a part of raising and bringing up a child.

Listed below are some reasons for you, as parents to be a good role model and inspiration for your child:

 

  1. Your child will be spending the majority of their time with you, their parents, making you their role model (by default), and this gives you the opportunity to teach them to the best of your abilities. So, lead the way by example!
  2. Make sure you have a positive outlook towards the various aspects and spheres of life, such assports, creative activities and arts, academics, etc. Try to ensure that they have an open and curious mind to learning and experiencing new things.
  3. Read books. Be a reading role model. Reading role models are critical to instilling reading as a critical part of a child’s life. Get books for babies, do math activities for kids together. Teach your kid to read by making picture books for babies accessible and available from an early age.
  4. Your choices of friends, those you keep close and relate yourself to is another important yet overlooked aspect of having a positive impact on your child. Your child will take notice of those you call friends and associate with. They too will follow in your footsteps and be friendly with similar personalities. So, make sure you’re careful in this regard.
  5. The type of relationship you have with your family and friends; your spouse, parents, other relatives, close friends, acquaintances, etc. plays an important role in shaping your child’s perception and understanding of relationships.

 

A mother as a role model and a father as a role model – both are equally important for your child’s developing mind and personality. Neither one is greater than the other, and both parents must work in harmony to ensure the optimal growth and development of their young one(s).

Additional simple measures you can take to further aid in being an effective role model for your child are:

  1. Be open and transparent about your life.
  2. Begin teaching your child from an early age; the earlier, the better.
  3. Be a good listener, pay attention to your child – to both, the big and small details.
  4. Be affectionate and empathetic.
  5. Be positive and encouraging.
  6. Don’t force your attempts at being the ideal parent and role model to your child. That will only have the adverse effect on them.
  7. Set goals for your child and yourself – short and long term.
  8. Finally, and arguably the most important tip:Be the best version of yourself. You are not competing with other parents. You are competing with yourself. Aim at being the best version of yourself; better today than yesterday, and better tomorrow than today.

If you haven’t pondered over the thought of being a role model and inspiration for your child, start now. It is not too late and the fact that you’ve read all the way to the end of this article only goes to show that you are trying to be and do the best you can for your child. So, start now at trying to raise a responsible, kind, caring, confident and empathetic child.

Start looking for stuff available for getting your baby started on the path of learning. Show them how much you value education. Visit the website of Learning Time. Ask for a free dem. There’s some fantastic stuff out there for early childhood education.

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