The Parent as a Role Model

A certain educator was once asked at what point should a parent begin to prepare for child raising.

“How old are you?” the educator inquired. “Twenty-three.” “You should begin twenty-three years ago.”

What is the message? The single most important thing a parent can do to educate a child is to provide the child with a good role model. An individual has to strive his whole lifetime to become the type of person she wants her child to become.

The most important people in the world in the child’s eyes are his parents. A child’s mother and father are his first and most important teachers. The behavior of a child’s parents leaves a permanent impression in the child’s subconscious mind.

Why is this so? A child learns his values and priorities from his parents. In the child’s eyes, his parents are the most reliable source for these things. Children have an innate trust in their parents. Children believe that everything their parents say and do is the correct and proper way to behave.

We all wish our children would do what we say and not what we do. However, this is not how the mind of a child works. The intellect of a child is undeveloped. As a result, children function an emotional level, absorbing more from what they see and hear around them than from what they are taught.

What is the take home message? The main thing for you to realize is that you have far more influence on your child than you probably realize. Your child is going to pattern himself after you. That is how nature set it up. Your job as a parent is to be the best role model that you can be. So this may be hard, but that is the reality.

The following is a story I heard recently that brings out the extent to which your child learns from your actions.

A certain kindergarten teacher once warned a group of parents to be careful how they behave in front of their children.

“By the way your children play in school,” she said. “I know which of you treat each other respectfully. I am well aware of what kind of language you use in your home. I know everything about how you behave in your home by the way your child plays, talks, and behaves.”

Remember, you might think that everything that goes on in your home behind closed doors is hidden from the world, but it is not. Your child sees everything. Your child is going to take your behavior and broadcast it to the world. You had better take care to ensure that your child is broadcasting to the world something that you want the world to see.