One of the best things you can do as a parent is to strive to live a model life that is worthy for your children to follow. By virtue of being a parent, you are a leader and therefore have followers you influence, namely your children. And because you influence your children, you are a role model. Here are 5 things you should model for your kids.
Model consistency. Whether you are with your family, friends, or coworkers, your child needs to see that you are the same person wherever you are and whoever you are with. Your child needs to know that you are the real deal and rock solid, not a person whose personality is constantly shifting.
Model self-denial. It’s easy to live a life that’s focused on “me.” Your child needs to see that you’re willing to forego buying things and doing things that would give you comfort and pleasure.
Model honor. If you want your child to honor and respect you, then show your child how it’s done. Honor your mother and father, whether you think they deserve it or not.
Model control over words. Words matter. You need to chain your tongue, tame it, and train it. Make sure the words that come out of your mouth toward your spouse, your child, your friends, and even your enemies are respectful and kind.
Model appropriate actions. Your child is always watching. Your child sees the kinds of movies and television shows you watch, notices the music you listen to, the people you associate with, the way you drive, and the way you treat your spouse and other people. Your child’s actions will often be a reflection of your actions. As Benjamin Franklin put it, “Well done is better than well said.”
What are you modeling for your kids? Please share your comments with me.
(Portions of the foregoing were excerpted from All Pro Dad: Seven Essentials to Be a Hero to Your Kids by Mark Merrill, Thomas Nelson publishers, 2012; available at www.AllProDadBook.com)