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Secrets from a Teacher: Model the Behavior You Want to See


I’m reading (listening to) Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm, and Connected by Susan Stiffelman right now, and it has been really helpful.  I have learned a lot of new things, and been reminded of a few that I already knew, but don’t consistently implement.

In Stiffelman’s discussion of “screen time,” she brought up a valuable time.  If you are trying to limit your child’s screen time, make sure you are setting a good example.  It’s hard to convince your kids to spend less time in front of a screen if they see you spending your free time that way.

model behavior

Children (unfortunately) will do as we do, not as we say.  So it’s important that we set a good example and model the behavior we want them to mimic.  I mentioned this earlier in regards to reading.  Want your kids to be avid readers? Let them see you reading!  Want them to eat vegetables? Eat more vegetables yourself! Want them to apologize sincerely when they upset someone? Let them hear you apologizing (to them or someone else.)

How many times have you heard your words come out of your child’s mouth?  Over the weekend, I saw a child push a stroller into the back of his mom’s legs while she was shopping.  When she exclaimed in surprise, he immediately said, “Well, then watch out!”  I wonder where he heard that?

Although we tend to notice it more when our kids publicly mimic our not-so-good behaviors, they copy all of it from time to time.  Sadly, modeling the behavior you want to see is NOT a surefire way to get your kids to behave the same way.  But it can help.  And heaven knows, we need all the help we can some days!

(This post is part of a Secrets from a Teacher to Make You a Better Parent, a part of the write31days.com challenge.  The best way to keep up with this series is to subscribe via email here.)

Would you like to comment?

  1. This is great. Children definitely model our behavior, the good and the bad. It touches me when I see a reflection of the good stuff. It makes me want to be a better Mom, to give them more positive behaviors to model.