Parenting can be tough, especially when it comes to teaching children responsibility and good manners. While some parents may view chores as a way to teach children responsibility, it’s important to understand that manners are a completely separate task, and are best taught through modeling day in and day out.
Teaching by modeling is an effective way to instill strong values in your children. Rather than telling your child what you want them to do, show them through your own behavior. For example, if you want your child to be thoughtful and considerate of others, hold doors open for them and wait to eat until they are at the table. It’s also important to share with your child what you are doing and why, so they can understand the value of these behaviors.
Research has shown that values cannot be taught directly. They are absorbed and become part of the child only through identification with and emulation of persons who gain their love and respect. This means that as a parent, it’s important to model the behaviors you want your children to emulate. By doing so, you are teaching your children important values that will serve them well as they grow into adults.
Praise is also an important tool for parents. When your child puts forth effort, whether it’s working on homework, studying for tests, washing the windows, or cleaning the dishes, make sure to praise their efforts and accomplishments. Our words should state clearly what we like and appreciate about their effort, help, work, consideration, creation, or accomplishments.
It’s also important to recognize that the process of getting to the end goal is just as important as the end goal itself. By recognizing and highlighting the effort your child is making, you are instilling a strong work ethic and character that will serve them well in all aspects of their life.
In the end, parenting is a never-ending job, but by instilling strong values in your children from a young age, you are setting them up for success in all areas of their life. Whether it’s through modeling good behavior or praising their efforts, every moment is an opportunity to show your children how much you value them. So, take the time to invest in your children, and watch them grow into the responsible and caring adults you always knew they could be.
If you want more information on this topic, please check out my book, Raising Thoughtful Children Without Going Crazy! Perspective of a Mom and Educator, available on Amazon.