Being a role model and ‘walking the talk’

There is a lot of pressure on parents to try to present as the ‘perfect person’ as a role model for their children, but consider that this can also create very high expectations for your children to live up to.

Being a good role model and showing it means to be an adult doesn’t mean you have to be perfect! We all know life doesn’t always run smoothly and there will be challenges. 

What your children need is to see how you deal with the good and bad experiences in your life. They will be watching how you manage your emotions, your behaviours and your relationships in daily life. Some of the most important lessons for your children, will come from seeing how you handle mistakes, failures or difficult situations. This is what we mean by ‘walking the talk’, by demonstrating appropriate behaviours and responses so they are best equipped for the future. 

Top Tips

  1. You don’t have to be perfect. You are teaching valuable lessons through how you manage your challenges, mistakes and failures.
  2. Be honest about how you feel. Your children will learn from you that expressing, accepting and managing your emotions is a healthy and normal part of being an adult.
  3. Be consistent with expectations. Set boundaries and expectations that are clear and reasonable and stick to them.
  4. Give praise and reward for work and effort. This shows that you admire this value and helps them to develop a positive work ethic.
  5. Demonstrate problem solving. Show you children the strategies you use to address problems and challenges in your life.
  6. Talk to your children about your own mistakes and failures. This shows your children how you have grown and learnt from these challenges.
  7. Look for opportunities to connect, engage and talk with your child. 

Mondays with Fathering Project founder Dr. Bruce Robinson
We want to foster connection, sharing, and collaborating in this time of isolation and need. The Fathering Channel is an online community hub and a source of research-based advice, support, and information. Tune in every Monday for Bruce’s weekly video – packed with fathering advice and tips.
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