As the late great Judge Eugene R. Pincham once said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Judge Pincham spoke those words more than 10 years ago, and those simple, yet profound words could not be truer today. As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. It is your responsibility to model the behavior that you want to see in your child.
Do you want your child to be respectful? Then, you must model that behavior for your child.
Do you want your child to be honest? Then, you must model that behavior for your child.
Do you want your child to be responsible? Then, you must model that behavior for your child.
Trust me, your child is always watching and while watching you, your child is learning from you. But the question is, what are they learning? Are you behaving in a way that you would like your child to mimic?
Do you lie to people but expect your child to be truthful?
Are you an inconsiderate, disrespectful driver but expect your child to be respectful to others?
Do you blame others for your mistakes or your circumstances but expect your child to take responsibility for mistakes and behavior?
The behavior that you display is, in essence, teaching your child how to behave. Good parenting begins with good moral character, which consists of integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, loyalty, respect, responsibility, and fairness. Your child will see those good qualities and will mimic you.
Remember, children learn most by what you do, not by what you say.
By: Amber C. Gardner, MA, LPC, NCC