One of my friends just shared this article from Yahoo! on Facebook and I thought it’s worth sharing.
While we are mindful of the more obvious habits we don’t want our children to pick up, like swearing or smoking, there are some “little” things we tend to overlook in terms of our own behaviour in front of our children.
There are some points that I particularly agree with the writer of the article.
It’s white lies to us grown-ups, but hey, children cannot tell the difference. Working parents may call in sick to work once in a while just because they don’t feel like going to the office. But when your child hears you over the phone, they probably think, “So that’s how I can get out of going to school”.
Keeping Secrets From The Other Parent
This is like teaching the child to play mind games with the other parent, and that it is okay to do so, and like the writer says in the article, you are undermining your spouse’s authority.
Teasing Your Tyke
While it seems like some harmless joke to us grown-ups, we never know what goes on in the innocent and gullible minds of children. I remember being teased by grown-ups when I was a little kid and while the adults had a good laugh, I was feeling hurt.
Spending Too Much Time On Your iPad
It’s not just the iPad, it’s all the devices we own. Smart phones, tablets whatever. While we tell our children not to use the iPad too much because it’s bad for their eyes, what are we doing at the dinner table? One thing I have learnt is, if it’s not a matter of life and death, some messages can be replied to at a later time. Giving children our Dull attention teaches them that they matter and we set the example that we don’t need the gadgets all the time.
Losing Your Temper
Now this is a toughie, but hey, if we don’t want our children to be yelling and screaming when they are angry or unhappy, then we should really be the life examples. I remember watching this episode of “Ni Hao Kai Lan” with Phoebie and in that episode, Hou Hou was angry and was losing his temper. Through the episode, Hou Hou learnt to use his words to express himself instead of throwing a hissy fit. I used that episode to teach Phoebie that while it’s normal to be angry about some things sometimes, we don’t have to scream and yell, and that we can tell others why we are upset by using our words. While young children need to be constantly reminded, they will learn best when they see how parents use our words instead of losing our temper.
Some of these points are quite a challenge, especially the one about losing our temper, but hey, if we tell our children it’s not okay to do certain things, the best way for them to learn is most definitely seeing us model the behaviour we expect from them.