Most people in this world have someone they look up to and admire. It could be someone famous, a friend or a relative. You could admire so many people, there are no limits. However one of the most natural instincts of a human is to want to look up and admire your parents and for a parent, all you want to do is set a good example to your child so they see you as their role model.
Here are a few tips on things you can do to show your child that you are a good human so they can learn from your behaviour and actions and model you as their hero:
1. Positive Values
It is really important that we instil positive values into our children. These could be things such as respecting elders, saying please and thank you, sharing and being kind to one another. These things may not be valued by your child when they are young but as they grow they will be thankful for these lessons.
Teaching values takes time. Outside influences such as peer pressure and technology have a great effect on children, shaping their perspectives more than ever. Therefore it is SO important to make time to be with your children and make that time really count.
You can teach your child by talking to them and sharing your own experiences. If you are talking about patience or honesty for example you can tell them about a specific scenario where you had to use these values.
Children will only learn positive values if you lead by example. Be good and they will be good too. Talk to them about what is right and wrong and what constitutes to good behaviour and what doesn’t. If you see your child doing something nice, praise them. It will encourage them to continue with it.
2. Let them be independent
The meaning of independence is different for each child and each age group. What I mean by give them independence is don’t do things for your child which doesn’t need to be done by you. It is important to let your child be themselves and this can start with giving them little responsibilities. Teach them to be responsible for their actions as well as their objects. Let your child do things such as dress themselves, get their bags ready for school, order food in a restaurant, decide what after school activities they want to do etc.. This could be something small for you but this is a BIG DEAL for them. When you give them the opportunity to make their own choices, you are valuing them as an individual.
It is SO easy to pretend to listen. We all do it. But it is really important that we take time to listen to our child. We need to show we care. If we don’t care what they say, they will not want to approach us in the future, they will lose confidence and trust in us and as we know trust is so vital when it comes to parenting.
You can even listen when they are not speaking by looking at your child’s actions and behaviours. Their behaviour will tell you a lot of things about what is going on with your child.
3. Be Supportive
This is a harder thing to do as your child gets older and makes decisions that you might not necessarily like but the key is to start when they are young. Right from the word go, you need to support your child. You are their rock and they want to turn to you when they are in need. If you do not support them when they are young, then like the lack of listening, they will not want to turn to you for support as they grow. Encourage your children to dream big. Many people don’t follow their dreams because they realise them too late or they were not encouraged to pursue a dream when they were young. Supporting your child is your way of showing that you care, that you love them and the more supportive you are, the most happy your child will be.
4. Give Time
I think this is the most important thing that we can ever give our child. Every parent can do it, no matter how busy you are or how much time you spend at work, when you have free time, dedicate it to your child. You love your child and you must show it.
Children reap unbelievable benefits when you spend time together. They feel loved, valued and important. All of these build self esteem and self worth which is necessary for your child to have a happy life. One of the best, and most obvious things about spending quality time with your children is developing stronger relationships with them. This will help not only build memories, but also build trust.
5. Teach Love
This is again super important and re-iterates everything I mentioned above. Love is everything and love is what will make your child a wonderful human. We need to teach our children about love, how it feels and what it looks like. It is crucial that showing love doesn’t just mean to your child, it means setting an example for them to follow. Showing love to your partner, to friends, family and people less fortunate is so important and a great way for your child to learn from example. When a child sees and receives love, they will give it back in return. They will learn to understand the difference between what is love and what isn’t love. They will know how to make good decisions and know when to walk away when they are not comfortable.
“Children who grow up with love become adults who are prewired to love deeply”
6. Have Fun!
Parenting is hard but it doesn’t always have to be. Just because you have clear boundaries and rules at home doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Sometimes you need to take a breather, and let your hair down. Having fun with your child and the whole family builds a strong family identity. When families have fun together, it builds a bond that lasts a lifetime.
Children these days have a lot of pressure and need to release it. They don’t want to go from the stress of school work, to stress at home. Having fun doesn’t always mean “playing” with your child and their toys. I really struggle to play with my kids so we do things together which we both enjoy and have fun with like art and craft and playing cricket outside. Make your parenting fun in its own way.
If you enjoy parenting, it will impact your child so much as they walk through life. If you are happy then they will be happy.
Most of us have been brought up to believe a “Superhero” is someone that has magical powers but as you can see this is not necessarily the case. Anyone has the option to be a hero and if you are a happy, loving, supportive parent, then I believe you will always be your Child’s Superhero.