Have you ever done or said something only to see or hear your child repeat it? Chances are, you have…AND, you may have even wished you hadn’t done/said what you did! Children are learning how the world works, how people treat one another, and how they are expected to respond to things by watching and listening to everyone around them.
Adults send messages in everything they do, without even saying a word:
- Not buckling a seat belt in the car can send the message it is not important or that rules do not have to be followed.
- Yelling or calling others names when you are upset (or even when joking around) can send the message that it is okay to do so.
- Yanking things out of your child’s hand when they have something you do not want them to have can send the message that they should do the same when someone has something they don’t want that person to have.
As a parent, you are a model for your child. Children learn positive choices just as easily as they imitate things we may not want them to! Remember—you are your child’s first teacher!
Ø Label your own feelings in difficult situations.
Ø Tell your child “I feel so mad. I am going to go take some deep breaths in the other room to get myself under control.” Be the person you want your child to be.
Ø When standing in store lines, being sure not to cut in line. Model how you would want them to respond in a similar situation.