Model It!

You know what kids are hearing louder than our words? Our actions.

By Momentous Institute | Jan 15, 2016
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When a child says, “Hand me my pencil”, our first instinct is often to add, “Say please!” When a child yells, we often ask him to speak calmly. Or when a child says something rude to a friend, we tell her to be nice. But you know what kids are hearing louder than our words? Our actions.

When we ask a child to have a seat at the dinner table, are we remembering that “please”? When we get frustrated, do we model appropriate, calm reactions? Are we kind to the people who are rude to us? When we mess up – which is inevitable – do we apologize in front of the children so they can hear us?

We’re not going to be perfect. But we have to remember that kids are watching. We don’t have the luxury to turn our responsible parent-self off. When we interact with people around us, when we eat, when we leave comments on the Internet, when we are angry, or excited, or tired… kids are watching. If we want kids to be kind to others, play nice on the internet, and control their emotions, we have to show them how. Modeling is much better than monitoring. And when we mess up? We have to let them know, and then fix it.

A million words about how to act won’t carry the same weight as an adult who shows them, day in and day out, what it means to be kind and respectful. So even when we’re tired and we want to turn that responsible parent-self off – just remember – they are watching and learning from you. How do you hope your kids act? Show them.