“What it’s like to be a parent: It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love”, said the author of The Wedding, Nicholas Sparks.
These few words explain the whole essence of parenthood. It’s easy to produce a child but as much tough to raise that child. As parents, we want our kids to learn from us and not commit the same mistakes. We want to become a good role model for kids.
But, do we actually become one? A major flaw of parenthood is the desire to fulfill our unfulfilled expectations through the children. We want them to turn into our clones and that simply won’t do.
Kids have their own personality and as parents, it should be our duty to raise kids to become independent and with a distinct personality.
We can achieve it by being a good role model for kids. How to be a good role model?
Here you go:
Now, I know this probably sounds preachy but this really IS the first lesson of parenthood. You can’t raise another human if you aren’t a better human being. The ‘better human being’ term encompasses a lot of characteristics such as having empathy, understanding nature, righteous, balance sense of judgment and more.
Seek within yourself. Are you a better human being? If not, first become one and then only you can seek to become a good role model.
We tend to raise kids as our parents raised us. This is often the justification of parents who wield the stick as a way to instill manner or try to instill a sense of fear in their kids. Why? Because their parents did the same with them!
It’s like you’re taking a revenge on your kids because your parents treated you in a way they shouldn’t have. The human psychology is amazing. Before becoming a parent, resolve these differences within you. You should be a ‘conscious’ parent as every action of yours will definitely have an impact on the kids.
Parenting is all about unconditional love. It’s good to be strict to instill discipline but an obsession with doing everything ‘right’ always will crush your kids’ spirit. They will be scared to learn or experiment anything new. They are kids and they will make mistakes.
To be a good role model, you should always teach them to learn from their mistakes and be a better human being. Learn to forgive and encourage.
Kids are observant, very observant. You’re wrong to think they don’t understand anything. Next time there is an argument at home and in front of your child, notice his/her reaction. You’ll be surprised.
Parents should actively engage in negative emotion management because kids pick up on their negative energy and god knows how they understand or interpret it. If you’re stressed and just snapped the kid, you did very wrong. The kid, if he/she is the introvert type, will become afraid of you and will see you as ‘unapproachable’. Do you want this?
Therefore, learn to handle your negative emotions if you want to become a good role model.
Yes, the kids are your blood and flesh but that doesn’t mean you’re going to turn them into your clones. A lot, a lot of parents tend to do this on a subconscious level. So you didn’t get to become a doctor, it doesn’t mean you’ve to force your child to become one. So you never made many friends, it doesn’t mean you’ve to isolate the poor kid. So you’re an introvert, your kid doesn’t have to be the same.
A good role model will never try to clone their kids to fulfill their life’s aspirations. What you’re today is the result of your choices, so why blame the kid?
Instead, make an effort to understand the personalities of your kids and work towards improving them.
Yes, life isn’t unfair but it doesn’t mean there is no place of humor in our lives. Learn to laugh at yourself and teach kids to do the same. Don’t teach them to take life too seriously. Teach them to be responsible but to have fun at the same time. We only get one shot at life, teach them to do their best. Humor plays a very important role.
In the next 24 hours, make a really interested and conscious effort to ‘listen’ to your kids, both verbal and non-verbal communication. Parents and kids never come close because of ‘unknown’ communication barriers. These barriers are sub-consciously created, always. Parents have this habit of thinking that they know everything and as such, they ignore what the child has to say. This is the death knell to any parent-child relationship.
Therefore, learn to be an empathetic listener and communicate with your child.
Every parent can become a good role model if they want. Why the hell shouldn’t you want?