August 19, 2015

Teaching Your Children By Example

by

Monkey See, Monkey Do

L. R. Knost, author of The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline, states, “Our children are watching how we live far more than they are hearing what we say. They are learning how to live by our choices, not by our words.” We want to make sure that our children are learning the good not the bad. {Snatch the book up here if you want o read more!} 

Teach your children by example.

When we talked about what we hope to be teaching by example, we narrowed it down to our top 5 topics

  • Loving Your Spouse
  • Kindness to Others
  • Honesty
  • Reacting to Anger and/or Stress
  • Money Management

Loving Your Spouse

Teach your children how to love your spouse.

  • When your spouse is working on a chore or task, take a break from what you are doing to help!
  • Show your affection to each other around your kids: hold hands, hug, kiss, leave love notes.
  • Go on regular date nights and show your children the importance date nights hold in your marriage.
  • Never talk bad about your spouse – let the children hear you praise him/her instead. Always respect them in public and private.
  • Say those three little words! Sharing love through our actions is important, but hearing it is also important! Say “I love you,” when your spouse leaves, at bed time, and whenever else!

Showing Kindness and Respect to Others

Teach kindness to your children by example.

  • Avoid gossiping and talking bad about others. 
  • Teach your children what it means to disagree without being disagreeable. It’s ok to have different opinions as long as you’re kind.
  • Offer service to others – small or big. Diva Jessica has her kids choose someone to give half their cookies/brownies to each time they bake. {Sweet and good for your family!}
  • Respect other peoples’ time by always being on time for events or appointments as a family {easier said than done – we know!  😉 }
  • By showing respect to your children, they will respect you back. 
  • You are teaching your children manners when you model saying “Please!” and “Thank you.”

Honesty

Teaching children honesty by example.

  • White lies are not your friend! Avoid coming up with those “little excuses” to get out of obligations.
  • Avoid half truths and exaggerations. {“Medicine tastes good!”} Be honest with them so they will be honest with you {“It may not taste good, but it will help you feel better”}.
  • Never ask your child to be an accomplice to dishonesty {“Don’t tell Daddy how much we spent at the store today!”} It is teaching them that sometimes withholding information is validated. 
  • Be honest with yourself by accepting help when needed.

Reacting to Anger and Stress

Teach your children about reacting to stress by example.

  • By taking a breath when you are angry or stressed, you are teaching your children to think before reacting. 
  • Teach your kids to pause, think, then find a solution instead of just giving up when something doesn’t go your way. 
  • Model healthy stress relief and express it verbally. Take a break and go exercise and then tell your kids how that helped you.
  • Apologize to others {kids, spouse, and friends} thereby teaching them that if our reactions don’t go as planned, we need to take responsibility for those actions and reactions. 
  • Avoid fighting in front of your children. Step into another room or go on a walk together to talk out the current hot-button issue. 
  • Put yourself in time out! It’s ok to show that you need a break, it can even teach your kiddos to put themselves in a “time out” to give themselves a chance to calm down. 

Money Management 

Teaching children by example about finances.

  • Start teaching your children that you and your spouse are on the same page with your finances and that you have a budget. 
  • Show your children that you will shop for the best deal and avoid impulse buying.
  • Employ a family savings jar for your vacation or a bigger family purchase so that children can see the benefit of saving money. 
  • Teaching the value of a dollar by starting a savings account for your young children will instill a respect for savings.
  • Encourage children to learn the value of work. Depending on your family dynamic you may pay for chores, give an allowance, or insist on work outside of the home – whatever works for you, but be consistent.

Our children are our future! For more ideas on how to raise them to the top, check out Angie’s E-book review of Kids in Training or to just relax and have fun with the kiddos read Cami’s brilliant 101 Things To Do With Kids Besides Watching TV

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