Parenting Tips: Leading By Example

Most parents know the importance of setting a good example for their children. However, sometimes parents may unwittingly demonstrate the very behaviour that they wish to stamp out in their children. For example, many parents will be familiar with the scenario of shouting at their child for yelling at their brother or sister. This can happen quickly in a moment of frustration and is usually recognised immediately.

More subtle mistakes, however, may slip under the radar and can be equally as damaging. A key example of this is when parents encourage their children to admit to their wrongdoing, but continue to rationalise their own mistakes. Parents often fear that apologising to their children is a sign of weakness. In fact, it demonstrates the ability to self-analyse. If a parent has made a decision that they realise was too harsh, it is beneficial that they discuss this honestly with their child. This shows them that it is reasonable to change your mind.

When a difficult situation arises, try to vocalise your thought process. Children will soon understand how to rationally tackle similar circumstances. Being mindful of your actions can vastly improve that attitude of you and your child, and even strengthen your relationship.