The old saying, “monkey see, monkey do” may have more to do with your life as a parent than you think. In fact, because of this, there are things you should always do in front of your kids.
No, I’m not saying your kids are monkeys, I’m saying that your children are very impressionable. Everything that you do leaves an imprint on your kid. Even the smallest things that you and your partner do can set a precedent for your child. Sometimes the examples that you set are good, while other times they are bad.
No one is perfect, but it’s important to act and behave a certain way so that our children blossom to be the best people that they can be.
Here’s a list of ten things you should always do in front of your kids that can help to make sure your children reach their full potential:
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1. Share interests with your partner
Obviously, it’s a good idea to share interests as a married couple, but did you know that it’s also important for the sake of your children? By sharing interests as a couple, you are displaying the importance of spending quality time with someone, which as you know, is a sign of a healthy relationship.
Make sure that you and your partner are engaging in numerous shared activities. This can be workouts, date nights, or even some fun hobbies. Just do your best to show your kids that sharing interests results in quality time and a healthy marriage or relationship.
2. Show affection towards your spouse
Studies show that children respond positively to seeing their parents being “lovey-dovey”. The Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) claims that when kids see their parents expressing their love, they make a mental note of what a healthy relationship looks like.
In short, an appropriate hug or kiss given to your spouse goes a long way. It can even help to form a healthy relationship for your kids in the future. Just don’t get too mushy or overly sexual!
3. Lend a helping hand to your partner
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The importance of your marriage can be paramount in moulding a youngster. Obviously, being a team player is a good route to take in maintaining an optimal marriage. Especially if it instils good values in your kids.
Assist your spouse in whatever way you can to help show your kids that good relationships require teamwork and compensation. Consider helping out with daily chores or household duties so your kids can see what a great relationship really looks like.
4. Congratulate each other on successes
Whenever your spouse succeeds or does something that merits reward, be sure to let them know how proud or happy you are for them. Obviously, this is something you’d do without kids, but it’s important to show your children that actions require positive feedback!
It will encourage your kids to congratulate others on their successes and also establish the value of hard work.
5. Diffuse conflicts in a calm, collected manner
Kids who grow up in a hostile environment can be at a huge developmental disadvantage compared to kids who grow up in a stable and calm environment that handles altercations with good conflict resolution skills.
The Journal of Child Development reported that hostile environments that frequently engage in verbal spats and physical abuse are more likely to suffer from a myriad of social problems. Problems include low self-confidence, emotional instability, and even depression.
6. Resolve the big issues together
Aside from conflicts with each other, parents will always have to face bigger problems. For example, career problems, financial instabilities, and health problems. Every family will face one of these problems at some point. It’s important that you show your children that you and your spouse work together to solve these problems.
Your kids will look to you and your spouse for safety and stability in times of doubt. You need to be a pillar of confidence for your kids, as does your spouse. Work together and not against each other to instil good problem-solving skills in your children. Not to mention that you’ll be reassuring their sense of security and confidence in you and your spouse.
7. Admit when you are wrong
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As humans, we all make mistakes. It’s natural. Even as parents, we’ll have the occasional screw up every now and then. As adults, we know that when we’re wrong, there’s no shame (only honour) in admitting when we’re wrong. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong in front of your kids and don’t be afraid to apologise for being wrong.
Your children need to know that we learn from our mistakes and that there’s no shame in being wrong, so long as we make it right. If your kids see you humbly admit when you are wrong, they’ll learn to handle similar situations in the same fashion.
8. Give your spouse space and time
While we’ve already discussed the importance of displaying a strong marital bond in front of your children, it’s important to show them the importance of respecting one’s space. Not just with privacy either. It’s important to show your kids that sometimes when two people are disgruntled with each other, a little space goes a long way.
The point is to show them that giving each other space to recuperate is healthy, and not anything long term and damaging.
9. Respectfully disagree
Disagreements are as common as day and night. Everyone disagrees with someone on at least one topic. That doesn’t mean that we can’t all live civilly and respect one another’s point of view.
As parents, this means that whenever a dispute breaks out we must respect the other’s point of view and agree to disagree like adults. This strong display of maturity will do wonders for your kids and can help them to moderate and diffuse arguments in the future.
10. Establish responsibilities and daily regimens
A daily regimen and routine can be very effective in moulding your children. It develops responsibility and establishes the importance of consistency and obligations. Try implementing some chores into your household that the children can accomplish. It’s a great way for them to mature through responsibility.