Children watch (and imitate) what we do
When I grow up I want to be like Mom or Dad: how many times have we heard our children say that? Children, as we know, tend to imitate everything adults do, starting from their parents.
For our children we are a bit like the princesses or superheroes of their cartoons, and we are the people whom they admire most in the world. Children learn from what we do, and this helps them to shape their personalities.
Imitation is a cognitive process that is both conscious and unconscious, which starts at an early age. As children grow, this process becomes more and more frequent.
We parents have a huge task before us, don’t we?
All this is indeed an honour, but also a responsibility! You are what your children want to become, the persons who more than any one else influence them and give them their imprinting in their first years of life! What a huge responsibility, is it not!
So let’s think about it a moment: how do we behave when we are dealing with our children and others? Are we really a virtuous example, or perhaps we don’t really practice what we preach? No one is perfect of course, and we don’t expect you to be!
But let's try to put together a list of positive teachings for our children.
- Never raise your voice: even in the most stressful situations, stay calm and don’t shout.
- Never swear: small children are sponges and tend to soak up every new word they hear. So be very careful with the language you use!
- Don’t smack your children: if you wish to teach children not to be violent, and not fight with their friends ... you need to set the example.
- Kindness, respect and manners: these qualities must be shared from an early age and taught at home!
- Don’t tell lies: your children trust you blindly, don’t undermine their trust by telling lies. Try to make light of a situation, if it’s difficult to accept, rather than inventing an excuse.
- Reduce the time you spend on your mobile phone: if you spend hours glued to the screen, don’t blame your children if they do the same!
- Be tolerant and understanding: show your children how important empathy is and putting yourself in someone else’s place and being understanding.
- Take responsibility: when you are wrong, show your child that you are not afraid to admit it and accept the consequences.
- Be loving: don’t be afraid of showing that you are a loving person. If you are affectionate and loving towards your children and the people you love, your children will in turn be more affectionate with others!
You may be thinking that you’d need to be a saint to do everything on the list. We assure you that it is simpler than it looks. All it takes are everyday gestures, giving the best of yourself to your children!