Children learn by example. If they trust what their parents say and it makes sense, they will want to emulate and do what we their parents do, eventually.
If we get the parenting thing right, children should emerge with clear views on the most important values. It’s our value system that acts as our children’s potential guide, therefore it’s important we get the parenting thing right.
Children will take what they need and will always learn:
- When their parents are there to listen, they will understand that their parents are interested and open enough to listen. They will also understand we’re on their side;
- When we’re compassionate, they learn that they can be compassionate too even in the face of adversity. That emotions fluctuate, emotions can be worked through that emotions can be managed;
- When something happens, they will learn not to blame, but to solve;
- When we forgive they find it in themselves to understand what it means to forgive. It also shows children no one is perfect and that it’s right to forgive. We should never hold a grudge;
- When parents apologise, children learn it’s okay for them to apologise too. It shows them how to be responsible and to use compassion;
- And that for every action there is a consequence. Children will understand more when we explain what those consequences will be.
It’s not okay for parents to swear, in the same way it’s not okay for parents to blatantly lie about things to get themselves out of trouble. It’s important not to punish. There are always other ways to bring children to task. Punishing a child reinforces their crime.
When parents talk things through, children come to understand more, rather than punish. If we explain in a way children will understand, they will learn. Children learn by example, so it’s important we show them kindness, generosity, responsibility, compassion and honesty and all the other things we want them to learn. We need to get those things right.
As long as parents’ values aren’t forced on their children and even if we don’t see those values being used, children will always go back to them. Parenting our children right keeps both us and our children safe.