Raising a respectful, patient, responsible, and hardworking child is every parent’s dream. But children look up to their parents, and unless you’re setting an ideal standard, they’re less likely to develop these traits. Here are a few simple ways to be a role model for your child in an everyday setting.
1. Hold the door open at public places
Whether you’re at a store, the library, or a restaurant, the simple gesture of holding a door open teaches your child respect and responsibility towards others around you.
2. Take care of a pet or plant
Purchase a small plant if you have no interest in taking on a large responsibility, but if you’re okay with slightly more time taken out of your day, get a pet for your child. With your child, water the plant or feed the pet regularly. Show your child how taking care of living things can be rewarding and how important it is to give and show affection.
Right before bedtime, let your child know that you’re reading the new book you got from the library or enjoying a magazine targeted to an intelligent audience. Reading’s advantages are endless, and once your child learns to appreciate and enjoy words, he’ll become a better person.
4. Have some fun
Let your child know it’s okay to get dirt-stains on his jeans if he wants to play outside. Show your child how much fun snow can be when it’s played in. While leading a completely indulgent life isn’t setting a decent standard, taking the occasional break shows your child that some spontaneity and relaxation is completely okay.
5. Maintain a great group of friends
Invite your book club over for dinner one night, or let your best friends since high school know that a lunch on Saturday at your place is planned. By showing your child what supportive friends act like and how face-to-face interaction keeps your circle tight, you’re teaching your child one of life’s most important lessons.
6. Stay fit
Get on the treadmill that no one uses downstairs and let your child jog in place with you. Showing your child the importance of exercising is unbelievably important. With athletic activities planned regularly in your home, your child will accept fitness as a part of daily life.
7. Be a smart shopper
At the mall, let your child know that you think that pair of jeans is absolutely splurge-worthy but is too expensive and can be replaced with a cheaper pair of jeans. Show your child that a budget is important and that money should be handled wisely.
8. Crack a joke!
A good sense of humor is always an admirable quality. Let your child know that sarcastic, smart-aleck comments aren’t appreciated, but a few giggles over something truly funny are a nice way to brighten your day.
9. Treat elders with respect
When your parents-in-law come over, offer your seat to them, make polite conversation with them, and let them ramble aimlessly to you. Treating elders with respect shows your child that older people should always be respected and that respect is crucial.