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Being a role model

    We have already addressed the role model function of parents several times, here we go into more detail. Take a look at this quote, “Today’s children are bullies. They contradict their parents, spill food and annoy their teachers.” Do you immediately think of your child here? Do you think this saying is new? Far from it! This saying is attributed to the philosopher Socrates, who, mind you, lived 470-399 BC!

    From this you can see, nothing has changed. Children are, as they always were. BUT: Nowadays one knows more. One knows above all, where the education begins, where the behavior comes from, namely from the parents’ house. The very first thing. Formative. Lasting, if you’re not careful. And no, education means not only rules and order, but above all, the role model function on your part. Children learn, without a doubt, from their parents. It starts very early with the pronunciation and the sound of words and ends, of course, in the whole behavior of the child.

    Remember what happened when one of those “bad words” slipped out in the presence of your young child? It was guaranteed to be parroted back. So, be gentle with what you say! How you say it! Do some soul-searching, observe how you express yourself. About family members, about superiors and generally about your fellow men. Your child will copy it practically 1:1. Furthermore, pay attention to how you deal with media. If parents themselves are practically glued to the TV all the time, no one needs to be surprised that children copy this. If drugs are consumed in the form of alcohol and nicotine, no one need be surprised if the child likes to copy that. If parents prefer to eat chips and chocolate or resort to fast food instead of real meals, what are children supposed to learn? If parents prefer to sit lazily on the couch instead of exercising, what are children supposed to learn?

    It’s just the way it is, there’s nothing to change about that. How YOU live, your child lives! How you behave, your child behaves. How you talk, your child talks. So work on yourself too, control what you say, what you do, what you model! It is not difficult! Move around a lot, preferably with the kids. Talk about politeness rules, teach your child manners. Friendly greetings are part of it. Holding the door open for others is part of it. Being helpful is part of it. All in all, friendly interaction with other people is enormously important for your whole life. All this is permanent. Remember: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Also an old saying, but still just as true. Polite behavior, taught early on, will be appreciated by practically every fellow human being, every teacher and later every superior.

    The fact is, if your child stands out because of foul manners, it is certainly not because the “company” is so bad, but because the parental home simply exemplifies or has exemplified this behavior. It has long been proven that the same people are attracted by this behavior. There is nothing to shake about that. Therefore our conclusion: Good education and proper rules are really important. But: what you preach, please stick to it yourself. This is the only way your child can learn properly and accept your rules. You determine the direction from the beginning, your child will gladly follow you, it can’t do otherwise.