When you become a parent, you spend a lot of time staring at your baby and wondering whether what you do for them is going to be enough. You will stare into those small faces and feel a slight terror that your actions will determine the course of their lives – which means that every move you make has to be positive. You teach your children right from wrong, and hope that when the time comes, they will choose the right path and take your advice. Until that moment, you have to hope that the values that you instill in your children are the ones that stick and not the bits you feel you made mistakes in.
When we parent, we sow seeds into the hearts of our children that we have to nurture with vigor, and a part of doing this is having a positive influence on our children at every turn. When we go to work and grow our careers, they watch us. When we do our online masters in leadership, they watch us. When we decorate the home to look better than it used to, they watch us. Children absorb everything we do and the more positive things we do, the happier they will be. Here are six ways you can have a positive influence on your children.
- Make Memories. Take the time to make positive memories with your children that they can recall when they are adults. Vacations, days out, supporting them in basketball games: your memories with them will last them a lifetime.
- Teach Lessons. You aren’t just there to discipline and shape your child. Keep your eyes peeled for the teachable moments in parenting so that you can choose it to impart some lifetime wisdom.
- Show Compassion. When you are dealing with people around your children, show compassion. Even when you don’t feel particularly compassionate to others, modelling that behaviour is going to show them how to behave.
- Show Qualities. Honesty, integrity, courage, duty, honor and commitment are all qualities that you should model daily in front of your kids. This can teach them that you were right when you had already told them that those qualities matter.
- The Why Behind The What. When you teach what your convictions are, you need to show them why. They need to understand that the world isn’t going to be kind to them all the time, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot be kind to others.
- Love Well. If you are still with the mother of your children, show your children how to love by loving their mother. Children will pick up on it when you are supportive of those around you, when you show love and kindness. They will emulate the behavior that they witness.
Your whole life is going to be under scrutiny when you have children – they will want to know how you feel passionate about the world and education and your career. Then, they will copy that behavior and act on it themselves. Be the positive influence that you want them to have, and your children will flourish.