Why are you the biggest influencer in your child’s life?
When I was younger, I wanted to be like my dad. He was, and still is, a force to be reckoned with. I admired his drive and passion for life. The fact that he’d want to make things happen, no matter what the obstacles or challenges were.
Then I became a mum, it was at that point that I truly understood what my mum had done, and still does, for us. I didn’t have to aspire to be like her because the way she’d raised us meant that I was already like her. I’d already picked up, from her, what it meant to be a mum and what that looked and sounded like.
What I’m trying to say is, I aspire to take all the good things from my parents and learn from their experiences to be the best I can be so that I can be a great role model to my children.
It’s about being an awesome human being which will then make me a great mum.
You see, whether we do it consciously or not we are the biggest influencers in our children’s lives. Whatever we say or don’t say will have an effect on them. Our actions will mean something to them whether it is intentional or not. So, I want to actively show my children through my words and actions that what I want for them is also what I want for myself.
What do I mean?
It’s all very well wanting the best for your kids. Encouraging them to follow their dreams. Supporting them through the ups and downs. However, if you’re not doing that for yourself then what message are you really sending?
Your actions and words must be the same, otherwise aren’t your words meaningless?
For me, this started by leaving my corporate career, of 17 years, and deciding what I really wanted to do in life. So much more has happened since, but that’s a story for another day.
Here are my 5 tips for being a great role model for your children.
Lead by example
How can we expect anyone to take us seriously, especially our children, if we’re not following our own advice? Why should we expect anyone to do what we say if we’re not doing it ourselves?
I believe quite strongly in leading by example. It’s about not just talking, and being a lot of hot air, but actually getting on and doing it.
Do what you said you’d do
So simple to do and yet easier not to do. For me, it’s about trust. How can we expect anyone to trust us if we don’t do what we say we’d do? Just imagine how much better the world would be if everyone just did what they said they’d do.
It’s also about managing expectations, especially when it comes to our children. I know my children take what I say literally. And why shouldn’t they? If I was to regularly go against what I’d said or not see through what I’d said, then I shouldn’t be surprised if they no longer believe me and so distrust the words I’m saying.
Not just in the words you use but also being able to admit when you’ve made a mistake or done something wrong. We are only human, not superhuman. We make mistakes, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It also takes courage to admit when you’ve made a mistake and people tend to respect you more if you’re able to admit it.
So be honest.
Do your best
The most we expect of anyone is that they’ll do their best, knowing that this will differ depending on how they’re feeling on that day. Just think of all the things that could be accomplished if we just did our best.
Be kind to yourself
Everything we do starts with ourselves, which also means being kind to ourselves. Life can be hectic. Life throws us curve balls. Life sometimes just doesn’t work out how we expected. But being kind to ourselves makes these bumps and knocks easier to manage. If everyone was kind, life would be a lot nicer.
So being a good role model is quite simple. It’s making a choice about how we behave. How we respond. How we choose to act.
Are you being the best role model you can be?
If you need some help getting started then take a look at my book, ‘Busy! The working mum’s guide to confidently walking life’s tightrope’.
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