Everyone has a role model or a superhero they admire. Some have actors, a sports person or a politician. But the real magic happens when a child says something like, “My dad is my superhero” or “My mom is my superwoman”. Every parent wishes that their child look at them as a good human they admire. But it doesn’t happen over time. They are watching you and modelling you as they grow up. And for them to learn best from your behaviors and actions, do these 10 things:
1. Respect and show love for your partner.
You may not think even once before talking to your spouse but your children are watching you and they will apply the same behaviors when they grow up. If you constantly fight with your spouse, they may think that marriage is a bad thing and always brings trouble. While if you are loving and caring with your spouse, it makes them feel that they should do the same when they grow up.
2. Instill positive values in them.
Values like respect for elders and their peers, helping others in need, and welcoming guests are very important and are being lost in young generations. They are too busy with video games and internet. Show them how these values help them when they grow up and they’ll thank you when they are older.
3. Let them make small decisions according to their age.
Let them order their food and talk to the waiter; let them decide which subject to study; let them decide which place to go for an outing. By allowing them to make these decisions in their day to day lives, they’ll feel more independent and this will increase their self confidence. Moreover, they’ll learn if they make any wrong decisions.
4. Listen to them.
Listen to them before acting when they complain, when they talk to you or to others, and even when they are not speaking. Their behaviors will also tell you a lot of things. And this listening will help you in making better decisions about their future which will help them.
5. Gift your time. Every day.
Spend some time with them every day. When they don’t get your time, they turn to TV, junk food, unhealthy friendships and toxic behavior. Don’t let this happen to them. Talk to them regularly and tell them it is okay to share any problems they are having.
6. Involve them in social gatherings.
When you go out in a function, let them stand beside you. Introduce them to other people. Let them see how you meet and talk to people. Let them know what to talk about when you meet people. Don’t keep them home and think that their studies will be disturbed. What they’ll learn in this social environment will be much more important than the bookish knowledge they learn in one hour.
7. Teach them how money works.
Don’t just give them the pocket money. Assign them some work and give them money based on their work done so that they’ll know at a very early age that one has to work to get money. Also tell them to invest a part of the money they get so that they can use it when they need it most.
8. Tell them the importance of following their dreams.
Not everyone follows their dreams because they realize them too late or no one told them when they were young. Don’t take a chance that your children might say this when they are old. Encourage them to dream big, support their ideas and help them in case they need it. This way they’ll get the courage to try new ideas when they really want to.
9. Encourage them to play indoor/outdoor sports.
Sports teach us a lot. While indoor sports help in developing our mind, outdoor sports teach us leadership, teamwork and keep us physically fit. When your children are actively involved in sports, their physical as well as mental well-being improve dramatically over age.
10. Keep them away from TV/junk food.
Junk food and TV are the most popular relief places when one is stressed or not happy. Do all the above things to keep your children happy. Always eat home-made food and watch less TV. Give them a book or encourage them to do something different.
All these things done daily over years will make your child stand out among the competition these days. And when they excel at whatever they do, they’ll thank you for paving the path when they were young.
This post was first published on lifehack.org