It’s tough being a parent, especially of a family of mostly very young children.
Everyone who has been a parent will agree that it is tough.
What makes it so tough?
There are many reasons, but I’d like to highlight two for now.
1) Children copy how parents behave, not what parent’s say.
2) Every child is unique. What we did for one child may not work for the next child.
For now, I’ll say a bit more about “Children copy what parents do, not what they say.”
Young children from birth until about 6 years old, almost exclusively copy what the parents do.
From 7 to 11, when they start going to school, they start copying the behavior of the teachers and the other students. But, initially they still copy the parents more. Once they are teenagers, they seek their own independence and start copying their peers as well as other adults that they perceive as strong and following them will benefit themselves.
If we as parents are to help our children grow into responsible citizens, then we must carefully act as responsible citizens ourselves. We can’t say that they should do some action and not do that action ourselves.
Example, if we tell them not to smoke cigarettes and be smoking cigarettes ourselves. As soon as they are old enough, the children will try to smoke cigarettes away from us.
Another example, we can’t tell them to clean their room, if we aren’t cleaning the rest of the house.
If we want them to have the habit of studying, the best way is to sit and help them in their studies every week day evening at least for 30 minutes. Help them read, help them write, help them understand what they are reading or what they are studying about.
One more example, if we want the children involved in social service activities, giving something back to the community; just bring them along as we are doing regular social service and they will automatically copy and want to do service themselves.
In short, as parents we need to walk the talk, we need to do what we say. That is not as easy as it sounds. Because, our actions must be consistent over the years of the children growing up.
We can not smoke most of the time and occasionally smoke. Inconsistent actions on our part will just confuse the children.
We need to consistently help the children with their studies.
We can’t do social service only once a year and expect that the children will grow to do social service monthly.
BUT, children also bring a lot energy, smiles, love and laughter into our lives. So we help them and they help us as well. We love them and they love us back even more than we think we can love them. Children live life fully. Young children haven’t learned to control themselves, so they live with no stops to their energy. Including full emotions, with no holding back, when frustrated at the age of 2 years old, learning that there are limitations in life and they can’t have everything they want.
So it’s tough, but we also grow as adults when we meet the challenges of raising children with creative solutions and consistent behavior. The tough parts help us to become much stronger, more creative and more loving as an adult and we mature to become much more than we thought we were capable of being. At the same time we can enjoy and re-learn from the energy, determination and committment to fully living life of our children.
I’ll talk about each child being unique in another blog.
Enjoy life with your children while you grow as an adult to become a better you helping the children to become better citizens of this world.
All the best of health and happiness to you and your family,
I coach people through social-technological solutions with yoga wisdom to enjoy a wonderful life with their family and career. I spent 24 years in SE Asia, where I learned that powerful family relations help people to survive and thrive there, enjoying life. Also concerned about Rural economic-social Development empowering healthy families.
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