Children are like sponges, absorbing everything that happens around them. It’s believed that they do not pay attention to what happens around them, but that is not the case.
Children are a gift from God, and they are usually a source of joy to every parent. They are the pride of every mother, certainly. The way we show them love and understanding tends to inform what they become in future. The big question now is, what kind of role models are we to our children?
Patricia Bassey, a 40-year-old nurse, says parents must understand that they are the first people children pick up traits from. “Every child learns in his or her own special way. It is a fact that children learn by observing, and noting the consequences of their actions. Children are very perceptive and watch every move that parents make. They observe, learn and imitate behavior, actions, values, belief and even expressions of their parents. As children grow, the first people they emulate in their lives are their parents. So, we have to act responsibly when we are in the midst of our kids.”
Parents must understand that they are the first role models in their child’s life before they (kids) go to the wider world to interact with other people. Mrs. Maimuna Sadiq, a 43-year-old educationist, says “Parents are not always perfect, we lose our temper, say things we do not intend to say and feel sorry afterwards. Sometimes we are not in the mood to be friendly as we would like to, it’s normal, we are human. But it is also important to admit our mistakes, say we are sorry and show that we try to make things right. Being a positive role model for our kids is one of the most important and rewarding things we can do for them.”
Musa Abdallah, a 41-year-old consultant says parents should think very well about what they are modeling their kids to be, and watching what they say or do in the presence of youngsters. “Parents are the only ones with tremendous power regarding the mental and physical development of their child. It is very important that they are good role models, because it is the only dependable way that your child can learn values they will use to shape their lives. Through your actions, behavior, words and love you can direct your children towards a decent future.”
Abdallah added: “Do the right thing at all cost, in their presence. The odds are that they will follow your lead. If you merely offer lip service and do not do as you say then your actions will be speaking more volumes than your words.”
Hajiya Maryam, a marriage counselor asked: “Do you know that parents, especially mothers are their kids’ best role models?” She added the following, which she asked parents to look through carefully, to see if they are being a positive role model to their kids.
1. Do you effectively resolve conflicts with people amicably or you fight and fuss about an argument you had with someone?
2. Do you handle disappointments with a rational, positive strategy or you drown yourself in drugs, alcohol or other negative behaviors to suppress the disappointment?
3. Does your family see you approach problems and setbacks as opportunities or do you see them as crisis?
4. Do you model high morals and discourage gossip, lying to people and taking unfair advantage of a situation or a person amongst other negative behaviors?
5. Do you model self-esteem and self-worth based on worthy character traits, or do you model materialistic things in terms of latest fashion, and so on?
6. Do you model a relationship that is supporting, loving and caring or do you model a relationship that criticizes others?
7. Do you model taking care of yourself properly through what you eat or do you just go eating junk food, do you keep late nights or come home with friends that are not decent?
These are just a few of the questions you will need to evaluate yourself to see if you are being a good role model to your kids, she said.
What our kids become in future tells the type of parents we were when they were growing up.Most parents forget that who they are always reflects in kids later in life. So if you have notbeing doing a very good job, it’s not too late to buckle up and try to make the future brighter for your kids. Children experiment what they live, watch, listen and follow. So try working towards steps that lead in the right direction.