Parents don’t realize how powerful an influence they can exert on their kids during the formative years. This realization is important because more often than not, parents end up influencing their kids the wrong way. Here are 5 ways to influence your kids positively
Practice what you preach
Kids learn by imitation. They copy the actions and mannerisms of adults around them. Parents are the adults with whom kids spend the maximum amount of time.
Discipline you must, but disciplined, are you?
As adults, parents are driven by the conscience to discipline their kids. However, they forget to notice if they are being the right about their own actions.
Often I see parents asking kids to maintain calm. However, at the slightest disturbance, they lose their cool. This behaviour sends the wrong signals to kids. They end up being confused.
Consistency in behaviour
A consistent behaviour by parents puts the child at comfort on what to expect and the kind of behaviour that will invite the wrath of the parents. This helps the child clearly draw the red line between what is permissible and what is out of bounds.
Avoid foul language
Foul language is easily picked up by kids since they learn by imitation. Adults use foul language but advise kids not to use it. The thrill of exploring the forbidden is what lures kids to try foul language.
Once hooked, the foul language flows unconsciously and can be very damaging to the child’s character. Children too are drawn in by the false sense of power and prestige that using foul language imparts.
Never talk ill of elders in the presence of your kids
Elders in the family are the fountain head of experience and wisdom. They may err at times and may appear rigid to the younger generation.
However, talking ill of elders in the presence of your kids is harmful to you in the long run. Kids will judge you in the same light that you judge the elders in the family. Don’t be surprised if your words come back to bite you.
Be an eternal optimist
“When it rains, look for rainbows; when it is dark, look for the stars”
I remember this quote as an eternal optimist. Being optimistic is the like giving yourself the best fighting chance at facing life’s adversities. All problems do have a solution. We can choose to address the problems smilingly or grudgingly. It’a a choice we make.
Doing it in everyday life is a wonderful life lesson you can give your kids. When life hits them hard, they will recall and adopt the attitude you demonstrated in the face of difficulties.
Do not carry old baggage forever
Ask your kids to drop old baggage and move on in life. You can nurse a grudge from your past but it does not help you in your future. Rather it turn into a useless distraction.
I remember a professor telling his kids to hold a glass of water in their right hand extended in front of them. 5 minutes later 80% of the class gives up. 10 minutes later, the really resolute ones too have accepted defeat. The professor likens the holding up the glass of water to old baggage. We refuse to let go. We suffer endlessly.