Setting a good example for children goes so far beyond good manners and a tidy bedroom. As an adult and as a parent, you have a responsibility to show your teenagers good examples of the type of adult to become one day. Teenagers get a bad rep most of the time. There’s an awful lot that people have to say about the bad behavior of teenagers, but they don’t often talk about whether said teenagers had good role models in the first place. Children and teenagers copy the behavior that they are modelled; it’s why you hear researchers say that children in a home where alcoholism is prevalent are more likely to drink. It’s what teenagers do and it’s why it’s so important for us to model the best behavior that we can.
With that in mind, you need to consider how you manage your home, your finances and your own behavior before you can teach your own teenagers anything. Here’s how you can set a good example for your teenager at home.
Take Care of You. Happy parents don’t put their family first 100% of the time. 10% of the time, you have to come first. That means finding what makes you happy and factoring it into your day or your week, no matter what happens. You have to have empathy for yourself and your actions before you can teach your children to have empathy.
Take Care of Money. Teenagers don’t learn about insurance, mortgages or balancing a bank account at school. That’s your job. So, if you’re terrible with your own finances and healthcare, get yourself on that finance course and pay into www.GoMediGap.com so that you can model the smart financial behavior that you would like them to emulate. If they can see you managing things securely, they will copy that behavior and ask to learn from you.
Ask for Help. Your teenager needs to see you crumble sometimes to understand that you are not a super parent and that sometimes, you get overwhelmed. Modelling your emotions is important so that they don’t have to feel that they have it together all the time. You won’t, and they shouldn’t have to, either. Feelings are valid, bad or good, and if you are modelling that behavior, they will respect it.
Unplug. You can’t ask your kids to unplug from their screen time if you aren’t doing the same. Put your phone down and engage with them in activities and conversation. Show an interest in their life, teach them how to balance their money from their Saturday job and make them feel good about themselves. Teach your kids there is more to life than social media, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.
Being a good role model for kids isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be very difficult. If you want your kids to grow up whole, healthy and informed, you have to teach them to be that way. They don’t learn it on their own.