Advice Column, Toddler, Toptots

Why is it important to be a good role model?

As parents, we have been handed a truly remarkable creation with no instruction manual! As each day passes, we try to discover which will be the best way to deal with a situation. Since time rushes by so quickly and before you know it, your toddler will be going to school; we know that we have to make the most out of every situation. If we look ahead, all parents really yearn for, for their child, is that she becomes a well-rounded, happy adult one day. But how can we influence who she will become?

Treat your child, as you would like her to treat you and others.  Many adults believe in the old age saying, “Respect your elders” whilst this is indeed true, should we not rather teach our children to respect all others?

When your child wants to talk to you, give her the full attention she deserves, after all, you expect her to listen to you.  Nobody likes to be interrupted. Should you be involved in a conversation and your child calls you, don’t ignore her, it may be urgent. Instead, teach her to tap you on the leg and briefly tell her that you acknowledge that she needs you and that you will speak to her as soon as possible. As soon as possible, break your conversation to see to your child’s needs.

Treat other people with respect. In a group situation, listen to when someone is speaking and do not have your own conversation. By doing this you will teach your child that she does not need to listen to others.  Never speak badly to another adult in front of your child. Your child will believe it is okay to treat others in this way.

Use please and thank you when speaking to your child.  Lead by example. Your child is sure to be a little YOU one day. Watch your child at play; the words and mannerisms will imitate who you actually are. Keep adult conversations out of earshot. Little children pick up bad language quicker than you think and use it when you will be most embarrassed!

Remain calm and collected in a situation. Getting hysterical will only teach your child that this is the way to deal with a crisis.  Be cooperative and not bossy. We want to create good leadership qualities in our children and not militant leaders.

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