What kind of parent are you: authoritarian or permissive? Helicopter or snowplow? Do you practice what you preach? No matter which sort of parent you are, there are a lot of reasons why you should parent by example, rather than by lecturing. Let’s look at the benefits of parenting by example.
Practice what you preach
Think back to when you were a kid. Did you ever watch your parents and notice a difference between the things they told you, and the things they did themselves? If so, you probably weren’t alone. Even today there are parents who seem to follow the old “do as I say, not as I do” way of thinking. But why isn’t this effective? Because even if you don’t think you parent by example, you do!
We all parent by example, one way or another
Go and sit at a busy park and people watch for a while, and you’ll probably notice something. Parents who scream and yell at their kids usually have kids who scream and yell back to them, or to other children around them. If parents continually treat others with disrespect, their kids will too. Learned behavior is always being learned, bad or good.
In contrast, watch the parents who treat their child with respect and kindness, and you’ll see a child who will treat others the same way. Kids watch their parents, and this is how they learn the ways that adults should act.
Parent by example and own up to mistakes
So as much as we try to be good parents and set a good example, does it always happen that way? The answer to that is a resounding no. However, there is still plenty of opportunities to parent by example, even when mistakes are made. The key is that parents be willing to accept their mistakes and own up to them so their children can see that it’s important. Kids who watch their parents take responsibility for their actions are much more likely to do the same as they grow up, and that makes discipline much easier. Here are 10 discipline mistakes all parents should avoid.
Ways to parent by example
- Teach kids how to care for themselves and their bodies by setting the example for healthy living.
- Parent by example and show kids how to be environmentally conscientious.
- If you want your children to grow up to be good readers, let them see you do the same. Good books are definitely worthwhile!
- One very important way to parent by example is to teach your children the value of hard work. They’ll really only learn this by working with you around the house or in the yard.
Practice what you preach and parent by example. Your children might not notice when they’re young, but they will definitely thank you when they have children of their own.