As Albert Einstein said, “educating by example is not a way to educate, it is the only way.”
Children learn by imitation. The first to be copied in their actions and attitudes are the parents and family around them.
Although we may not realize it, parents set an example for our children every day with our behaviour. “The model is one of the best instruments that parents have to carry out the deep and complex task of educating. The moral nature of the actions has a significant impact on the child, especially in organizing reality and getting closer to others and those around them. If our children notice that we lie often or are not very supportive, they will follow our example. Even if we make verbal recommendations to the contrary, they will see our behaviour. We have to set an example with our actions and conduct more than with our words and speeches.
Why is leading by example so important?
Parents must “be consistent, consistent, have criteria, and set a good example. Educate in freedom, responsibility and autonomy setting rules and limits”, says the psychologist to educate in a coherent and emotionally intelligent way. Setting a good example is decisive for the education of our children. If we want them to be happy, supportive, or sincere, we have to be too.
Parents tend to be careful about what we say to their children but not what we do. Suppose a car passes us on the road. In that case, we insult other drivers, or in a children’s soccer game, we misbehave with other parents, we are not setting a good example. Even if we try to explain it to our children later, our words’ negative behaviour will always remain.
Ideas to set an example
An excellent activity to realize what we are doing wrong is to write down in a notebook those behaviours that we think we should not repeat in front of our children. If we write them down every week and try not to repeat them, we will incorporate them into our daily lives as a routine.
Parents can set an example of our behaviour to our children in very diverse situations. For instance, in the attitude with which we behave with our family and friends; if we are kind and cordial, for example, with grandparents, they always will be. Also, in maintaining order and care of our home, our son will surely try to keep his house in order when he is older.
We can also teach you habits such as hygiene, posture, or speaking with our example. If our children see us brush our teeth after meals, they will see it normal to do it every day. If they hear us swear, they will understand that these words can also be used without being rude.
Children also notice how parents respond to crises. In those moments, we show them how to deal with problems that can influence them as adults. Children learn from the way parents approach life, whether positive or negative. Attitudes such as discipline, respect, and sincerity are incorporated into children’s actions if they see that their parents maintain them with the people around them. If they positively value your attitudes, they will apply them as something natural to their daily life at school, friends, or family.
Our advice is that you always try to transmit values to your children through example. They will surely apply them in their childhood and when they are adults. Do not hesitate!