Every mom wants to be a positive influence on her children. It is always heart-breaking when we see our children adopt our less-than-lovely habits, and in many ways, having a child forces us to reflect on ourselves and the decisions we make and behaviors we display. Still, it's never too late to start to be a positive role model in your child's life, through adopting certain practices which if implemented with a whole heart, could impact your child's whole life. Here are 9 ways to be a positive influence in your child's life:
1. Be available
Nothing says, “You matter” more than a busy parent stopping what they are doing and giving a child some undivided attention. Children whose parents are emotionally “there’ for their kids have better social, academic and wellbeing outcomes than those whose parents aren't available. When our kids want our attention, we’ll have a more positive influence if we give it to them
2. Relating well with others
How you interact with the people around you sows seeds in your child’s heart about how they should interact with others. They watch what you do more than hear what you say. Their future choices will, in large part, reflect your values and relationship with them.
If you never listen, chances are your child won't either. They learn from your behavior first and foremost since you are one of their primary caregivers. Also, in order to lead your child and guide them into their best life will require you listen to what they have to say. Listening more and talking less will help you to gauge situations they find themselves in with more sober judgment. Listening will also help you to hear what is on your child's heart and to adapt your behavior appropriately. It will also communicate care and concern with them. They will grow up to be adults who listen if you are a Mom who listens.
4. Be fair
Children have an acute sense of what’s fair and what’s not. Positive psychology fairness is a key strength that helps us maintain positive relationships within our families. As far as you possibly can, find ways to help your children perceive your efforts at making life fair for everyone in the family. You might consider issues around chores and responsibilities, pocket money and time with you.
5. Training in Truth.
Sowing seeds of truth is critical to their future. They will have to sort through millions of conflicting truth claims in their lifetime. And they need you, now, to plant in them the absolute truths. They also need to hear the why behind the what of your convictions. The fruit of God’s truth in their minds and hearts will help them reject the lies of the world that will swirl around them.
6. Set high expectations
Parents who expect a lot of their children generally have children who live up to those expectations so long as those expectations are communicated warmly, and we have our children’s (and not our own) best interests at heart. So set high expectations around academic achievement, morality, alcohol and drug behaviours, and friendships. If you do it with warmth and kindness, you’ll have a lasting positive influence on your children and their decisions.
7. Demonstrate self-control
How do you handle stress? Do you stamp your feet and throw a tantrum? Someone is watching. Controlling one's own tongue and emotions will go a long way in teaching children to do the same remember that the power of an airplane isn't necessarily in its wings, but in its brakes. Through your own behavior, demonstrate to your child that feelings are healthy, however, it is not healthy to let these feelings control us, but rather to remain in control of them
8. Loving well.
In the future, your child’s decisions to love what you love and value what you value will be based on the seeds of love you sow with them now. Your child needs to know, beyond any doubt, that you always have their best interests at heart and always love them no matter what. Remember that the power of an airplane isn't necessarily in its wings, but in its brakes. Through your own behavior, demonstrate to your child that feelings are healthy, however, it is not healthy to let these feelings control us, but rather to remain in control of them.
9. Your humility
When was the last time your kids heard you humbly admit that you had made a mistake, and handled a situation in the wrong way, or been a bad example to them? Do they see you back down when your pride has been insulted, and you want to defend yourself? Our kids need to see humility in us as we interact within the family, as well as with others.
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