By the time they are born, children—especially the younger ones, learn new skills quickly. Whether it is making jerky arm movements, wandering eyes, sound recognition, reacting to bright lights, etc. These are developmental skills children aged zero (0) to five (5) achieve.
It is undeniable that every child is unique and will develop skills at varying rates. As a parent, what you can do about it is to observe their developmental milestones very carefully to ensure that they do not have any problems.
Apart from the clear idea that experts have about the development of young children, there are a million ways a parent can raise their offspring for them to be their best selves throughout their childhood and as adults.
As a parent, what can you do?
As the first people children interact with and subsequently look up to, it is important to be an image a child can learn good values from. They learn the most basic things from you. From how to eat, drink, walk, talk, etc. To your child, you are someone who knows everything about the world—an important role model—and they trust that you will always be the one who will lead them until they can be by themselves.
Children also view other relatives, teachers, coaches, and their friends as role models. Simply put, children can look up to anyone around them—even the negative role models. Once children start interacting with individuals outside of your home, or individuals aside from you, it is unavoidable for these youngsters to be a witness to potential negative role models’ poor personal choices.
The problem lies in the fact that young children look at their role models’ actions—both positive and negative—as safe and acceptable. Them mimicking actions they think are acceptable but are not to an adult happens.
As their guardian, it is highly suggested that you talk to your child about negative role models. The conversation could go along the lines of the following:
- Remind your child about people having both good and bad qualities, and that includes yourself.
- Explain the importance of apologizing and learning from our mistakes.
- Ask your child about how he sees the role model’s actions.
- Ask what they could have done if they were the one in the role model’s shoes.
- Give your child an example of better ways to handle the situation in question.
To put things simply, talking to your child about their role models can give you a good grasp of how they interact with their surroundings—especially when you are not watching. A way to do that is to engage in conversations with your child frequently. Ask them questions about the people around them.
Can you control who or what influences your child?
Your child will eventually be in an environment you cannot control. A good example is once you allow them to watch TV and read books. Their content can influence your child on many levels. They can see shiny and perfect-looking celebrities on television as role models.
Once they grow a little older and start to notice things about themselves, new concerns pop up. They will start asking you why they do not have shiny hair and perfect teeth like personalities they see on TV with their perfect thousand-watt smiles, why they do not have superpowers or an impossibly fast car, the list goes on.
The best thing to mend your children’s situation comparing themselves to what they see is to explain that not everyone is the same. You could tell them that once they grow old enough, they can get their hair done to look shiny, they can get tooth implants to achieve a perfect smile, and they can get themselves a nice car. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. This also instills confidence in them that they can be as good as their role models.
It is almost impossible to control the external forces that influence your child. What you can control, however, is how you present yourself in front of your child. Do you show them the confidence that they can learn from you? If yes, we can say you are starting on the right foot of being an excellent role model to your youngster.
All in all, children are all individuals with different ways of thinking. As parents, the influence you have on them can be used to mold them into contented, positive, and self-assured individuals. To let them make mistakes and learn from them is also an integral part of their development. Make sure you are there to guide them.