Human beings learn from example, especially children. Mirror neurons tell them to mimic the actions and intentions of those around them.
As parents, children are constantly looking up to you as their prime example of what they should do and who they should become. Are you providing the best example for them?
There are 9 essential things a parent should do in front of their child to help them grow and thrive.
Being affectionate towards one another
It is vital for children to see their parents love, respect and adore one another. Public display of affection provide the children with a sense of security and trust within the walls of their home. Love fortifies and builds positive relationships.
Faith is best strengthened through practice and perseverance. A child needs to see their parents praying and acting on their source of faith, together and apart. Pray in the morning and pray at night. Pray to strengthen one another and be inspired to see the good in everyone.
Serving those in need
There is a common notion that we do what we see. Leading by example, parents need to emphasize the importance of serving those in need. The humility and grace that comes from taking the time to look out for someone in need will strengthen your child's moral character.
Showing gratitude and appreciation
Saying please and thank you consistently in front of your children is crucial in setting a standard of gratitude and appreciation.
Dr. Bill Searsadvises parents to start demonstrating polite behavior early on, "From age two to four, what Johnny hears, Johnny says. Let your child hear a lot of "please,' 'thank you,' 'you're welcome,' and 'excuse me' as you interact with people throughout the day. And address your little person with the same politeness you do an adult. Let your child catch the flavor of polite talk."
Living a healthy lifestyle
Not only should you teach your children the importance of eating the right foods and exercising once a day, you should also teach them the importance of finding a healthy balance in all things. Demonstrating to your children the importance of eating right and in moderation will be a lifelong benefit for your child.
Happy with their bodies
Body shame is real. According to recent research, nearly 80% of women are ashamed of their current body. Fight the stigma by embracing your perfectly imperfect figure. Leading by example, your children will recognize the beauty in being confident and proud of who they are as an individual.
Enjoying their passions
It is vital for parents to participate in the hobbies they are passionate about. A dad who loves snowboarding should embrace his love for the sport and bring his kids along to enjoy in his excitement. Your child will feed off your energetic vibe and seek to discover what passion excites them as well. Your kids get excited when you get excited.
Teaching your kids early on, by example, the importance of creating a budget and living within your means will be one of the most impactful lessons your child can learn.
Let your kids learn from your financial planning. Explain what a salary is and how you divide it to cover all of your family's needs. Let them in on your plans to splurge on a big purchase or your plans to place the funds in your emergency account.
Allow your children to fall in love with one of life's greatest therapies ... nature. Heighten their awareness to the beauty that surrounds them. Allow them to appreciate the grandeur of mountains dusted with snow, the valley filled with vibrant orange, yellow and red leaves in the fall and the indescribable beauty of flowers blooming in the spring. Teach your children to love and fully appreciate their surroundings.