Once you have children, you may start to notice that some of your previous behaviours are not those that you want your child to inherit. It can be tricky to prevent yourself from acting as you have always done, yet this could allow your child to grow up to be more responsible and ethical than yourself. You might want to think about different areas of your life to see where these changes could be implemented, and then review over time to see how effective these have been on the way you parent, and even how you feel within yourself.
Being a good role model can sometimes mean changing the ways that you use and spend money. It could be that you often rely on credit cards or an overdraft to buy goods. Alternatively, you may simply have a nasty habit of buying items that you don’t need and then regretting it later on.
While curbing these can be brilliant, you may also want to think about the savings if any, that you have. Opening an investment ISA, and making sure to make regular, affordable deposits, could help you pay for larger expenses in the future, especially as that money starts to grow. You may also be able to use it to educate your child on the importance of saving, and show them how interest rates work. This might help them avoid getting caught in a debt cycle, or falling short of payments when they are adults.
While it is good to be kind to others around you, it’s also very important to be kind to yourself. This is especially crucial when you have a young person who is likely to imitate your words and actions. If you often speak of your shortcomings, or harshly criticise your appearance, it may not be long until your child starts to do the same about themselves. By using positive affirmations about yourself, you may, in turn, teach your child to love and appreciate themselves for who they are, which can raise a confident, grateful individual.
It can also be a good idea to talk about emotions with your child. There are ways that you can discuss your negative feelings without putting your child in a therapist or friend role. This can help to normalize feeling sad or angry, which are common emotions that a person may have. From here, you can then talk about how everyone experiences these feelings at some point, how they shouldn’t be used as a means of being unkind or unfair to others, and even some great strategies for managing them. Due to this, your child might be less likely to bottle up their emotions.
Being a good role model can seem like quite a challenging feat but, ultimately, it can be about helping your child know how to make good decisions in life. This can involve some level of change to the way you conduct yourself, but you may feel better for it.
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