The top 5 effective modelling techniques for parents to positively influence their children’s characters and behaviors.
Have you ever asked yourself who your role model is? Not surprisingly, your mind will probably contemplate your parents before skimming through other options.
Why is that so? Well, at the beginning of our lifespans, the first ever individuals we get to meet are our parents. Most of our childhoods echo with what we have observed our parents do, what they have said, how they have handled a situation, and the way they have exemplified most values to us.
Children form their values and behaviors based on what they see, hear and sense from others. They imitate, not only behaviors, but also words, speech tones, expressions, gestures, and even feelings. Everything is multidimensional when it comes to children. Through ongoing observation and imitation, their characters come to shape like pros.
Accordingly, parents have the responsibility to help build their children’s characters by modelling their own behaviors effectively.
- Keep calm and think positive
It’s bound to happen that your child infuses rebellious, sarcastic, defiant, or possibly aggressive behavior. Think positively and don’t take what your child says personally. Think about your child’s action and the type of consequence he/she deserves. Don’t incorporate violent or physical punishments as they’ll be brought up to think that it’s only normal. Your child will remember your reaction towards such stressful and challenging situations, and it is your chance to substitute his/her actions with your logically calm ones.
- Apply discipline consistently
You’ve handled your temper just right by deciding to stay calm. Your next step is to think about how you’re going to discipline your child. You will need to apply a consequence, which is by definition, “adding a negative consequence to prevent or decrease a certain behavior, which is problematic, or taking away something that the child holds dear”. For example, not allowing your child to watch TV, or use his/her computer, or do extra house chores. By time, your child will be able to differentiate appropriate behavior from inappropriate ones.
Balance this out with positive consequences by enforcing positive behavior. Clearly communicate to your child the kind of behaviors you want him/her to do less and more. If your child applies the behaviors as you’ve agreed together, it is important to reward him/her. Reward systems play a significant role in stimulating moral behaviors and character. But without consistency, your parenting would be meaningless. Make sure to reflect that you are serious about what you say and do. With that, you will reflect qualities of reliability, fairness and responsibility which will help build his/her character effectively.
- Use effective reasoning and logic
“Because I said so!” is the common phrase all children have heard their parents exclaim. It is not, however, advisable. Constantly enforcing authority on your child by dictating rules is negative karma. Your child needs to see you as a friend – someone they can talk and turn to for advice. How? Increase their understanding of certain behaviors, rituals, and ideologies by encouraging discussions. For example, if you want to teach your child to attend prayers regularly, have a sit down and talk about the importance of prayer, the benefit it leads on spiritual, physical and psychological levels. Encourage your child to hold discussions with others and come back to you about the results. This way, you are rearing your child to moderate critical thinking, exposing them to dialogue and open discussions, and building their knowledge and understanding.
- Be a role model for your kids
Kids are constantly watching you, and as mentioned above, they observe and imitate. Think about the qualities you’d want your kids to have. The way you speak and treat others, the way you talk about others, the way you dress and clean up, the way you think about yourself and how you express it, etc. The younger your child, the more attention they will have for you. According to several studies, it was found that children who act violently by hitting or shouting are doing so when aggression is staged at home. Make sure to model the behaviors and traits you wish to see in your child.
- Your time together is number 1
Keeping the best for last: make time for your kids. Dedicate a day in the week where you and your kids can spend time together – a family day. By appreciating family time and creating positive memories, your kids will not only have a sense of belonging, but will also appreciate important rituals, decrease misbehavior, and learn consistency. Kids who are not getting the appropriate care and time from their parents will most of the time act out to seek their attention. Though, don’t worry if you’re a working parent, it’s the little details that count. For example, wake up thirty minutes earlier in the morning to have a family breakfast together, take a walk together, have a movie night, or better yet, take turns at deciding what to do at a special weekend. As well, attend sport games, events and concerts with your kid to get to know him/her better outside of the home environment. This way you are showing that you care and are positively involved in his/her life.