Let us just start by saying that if you clicked on the title of this article hoping for advice, you no doubt set a great example already. It takes a caring parent to want to raise their child in the best way, and wanting to learn more about how to do that puts you in the runnings for the ‘great parent’ role already, no matter how you regard yourself.
Furthermore, ‘setting a positive example’ to your child can be quite difficult to explore as a topic, it’s just too vast, and the work of a lifetime. One bad moment can take away hundreds of measured ones. If you’re nice to everyone you meet, chastise your child when they’re rude but then get overbearingly angry behind the wheel one day? You can see how fallible people (note: all parents – and non-parents – are fallible people, but that’s okay,) are worried about having to be perfect.
You don’t have to be perfect to set a good example, thankfully. You can just take it a day at a time. With some of the following advice, you’ll no doubt see how:
Stay As Consistent As You Can
You’re not going to be consistent. What you say a year from now might be different to that which you say today, and that’s fine, you’re going to change, grow and develop. That said, stay as consistent as you can with your children. It’s hard to show them how to step back and take a breath when encountering conflict if you shout at other drivers on the road and get into altercations often. Consistency matters when concretely solidifying a life lesson, and children are perhaps the most sensitive to this of all.
Always Show Positive Solutions
When your child misbehaves, it can be tempting to admonish them and become very irritated. However, outside of whatever disciplinary measures you deem the most fit to exercise, we would also recommend that you show them a positive solution or alternative to their behavior that would be suitable to you. It’s not good enough to chastise. You need to be aware, and show them how they can improve. This way, children won’t feel as though you’re directly criticizing them as a person, but their actions. And they can change their actions. It really does make for smoother, more impactful parenting.
It’s Okay If You’re Not Perfect
You don’t have to be perfect to be great. And you don’t have to be perfect to be a great parent. Understanding that can help you avoid sweating the small stuff. It also helps you express humility from time to time, which children would be better off learning if they’re to make it into any social group successfully, provided you care for them. For instance, you can help an anxious child even if you too feel anxious. If you keep that in mind, you’re so much more likely to enjoy a better and more social relationship with your child, without having to give up your parental authority.
With this advice, we hope you can more easily set a positive example to your children. They deserve it.