Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

5 Tips For Setting An Excellent Example For Your Kids

5-tips-for-setting-an-example“Do what I say, not what I do” is a popular quote that some parents use to encourage their kids to have good behavior. Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t work. Our kids see us and everything we do, and regardless of what kind of behavior we encourage, they will copy what we do because they love us. Setting a good example for your kids is difficult, most especially because parents are human. But you can still make mistakes and be a good role model at the same time. Here are 5 tips for setting an excellent example for your kids.

Be a Good Person

Don’t just put on a good front for your kids, really try to be a good person that they can emulate. Our kids are with us most of the day, and they see us at our best and at our worst. By sincerely trying to improve ourselves, we can get rid of some of the undesirable qualities we don’t want to pass on to the next generation. Things like being honest, being kind to strangers, saying you’re sorry, giving people the benefit of the doubt, etc. are great ways to improve your own character. If you see a homeless person who asks you for money, buy them a meal at a restaurant and tell your child about it. If someone in front of you knocks down a display at the store, pick it up with your child. While these things can seem minor, they all add up.

Avoid Arguing in Front of Them

While arguments should be avoided, expressing conflicting opinions is necessary in any functioning marriage. Avoid arguing with your spouse in front of your kids, and don’t engage in shouting matches that your kids are sure to hear. Find ways to resolve your conflict without fighting, and they’ll copy that in their own lives too.

Don’t Swear

Our kids want to be just like us, and if we constantly swear or use crude language, so will they. Teach them to use the vocabularies they have learned, and express their frustrations in a productive way. Swearing is definitely not a habit that you want your kids to pick up.

Increase your Intelligence

Encourage them to always try to better themselves, and do the same yourself by pursuing education. Whether you want to go all the way and pursue a military history master’s degree, or keep it simple with a certificate from a local community college, teach them to reach for the stars. If your kids see that education is important to you it will be important to them too.

Be Vocal with Internal Decisions

Vocalize some internal decisions you make to turn them into teaching opportunities. For example, explain that the reason you’re turning your friends down for the trip to the amusement park is because you already committed to helping your neighbors move, and you’re going to follow through with that commitment because they’re counting on you. Explaining why you do things helps your kids learn integrity and accountability.

It’s the goal of any parent to raise up children to be independent, responsible adults who can contribute to society. The only way we can do this is by showing them how to do just that by our example.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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