How to Raise an Upstanding Child | USA!
It’s amazing how quickly children pick up on the things you do in your day to day life. You may not realize it until the day you accidentally let out a curse word and then hear it echo back to you. How can you be angry when your child is simply just following your lead?
For the first 3-5 years of their life, you are the one they spend the most time with. In those first few years, they are going to set the groundwork for the rest of their lives. In this time, they will learn how to eat by themselves, tie their own shoelaces and a vast majority of their vocabulary will all come from the same source…. YOU.
Setting a good example for your child will help them lead a healthier lifestyle, but nobody is perfect. You may slip out an inappropriate word from time to time, that’s to be expected. The key to preventing your child from mimicking that behavior is to tell them that wasn’t the correct way to act and in the case of profanities, apologize for your behavior.
Completely changing your behavior isn’t easy and it also isn’t necessary. Just because you now have a child you are responsible for does not mean you have to completely give up everything you liked to do. Setting a good example for your child is easy and can be done by using the following techniques.
Model how you want your child to behave.
Like I’ve mentioned before, you are your child’s first teacher and they will look up to you to learn the difference between right and wrong.
If you are constantly talking down on other people or you spend a majority of your day practicing unhealthy behaviors, your child is going to pick up on that and believe whatever you are doing is alright for them to do as well.
Help your kids make good decisions.
Just like it is important to model good behavior, it is important to help your kids make the right decision about something. Walk them through the decision making process and have them decide for themselves whether or not they believe that is the right thing to do.
It is important to keep in mind that if you have a younger child, they are still learning how to react and respond to different situations. Try not to get frustrated with them if they take awhile to decide on the right course of action.
This goes hand in hand with modeling how you want your child to behave. When consumed responsibly, you can show your child how to have a healthy relationship with alcohol or by remaining abstinent, you are showing them that alcohol isn't a necessity when trying to have fun.
If you spend a lot of time going out and drinking with friends, you don’t have to cut your alcohol consumption off completely. However, cutting down on your consumption and/or having a few drinks while your child isn’t around is the best route to take when trying to set a good example.
Studies have shown that kids who have grown up around bad influences (drugs, alcohol, etc…) are much more likely to get into substance abuse as a teen or adult.
My heart hurts when I see children of substance abuse families struggling with their schoolwork because of their family situation. I am both saddened and enraged when I think about how they simply aren’t able to reach their full potential because they are so preoccupied with other things.
Being responsible is a major part of setting a good example, but it isn’t the only thing to take into account when guiding your little one...
Manners are essential too!
You would be surprised at how many children enter school and don’t understand the concept of please and thank you. It isn’t necessary to put them through etiquette classes, but simple manners like please, thank you and excuse me are important things to know in order to function as a decent human being.
Not only are manners a common courtesy, but teaching your child to be polite and friendly will help them later on when trying to make friends or even land a job offer.
These basic guidelines are the best to follow when trying to be a good example. By modelling good behavior, teaching your child to properly make good decisions and consuming substances responsibly, you are showing your child the right path of life.