Are You Your Child's Role Model?

Filed under: Behavior: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Behavior: Big Kids

mom and daughter

Should parents strive for perfection? Photo:

As a child, were you ever told "Do as I say, not as I do?" That little saying is intended to get parents off the hook for any less-than-perfect behavior and dissuade kids from mimicking said behavior. But as any kid will tell you, parents who say this are wasting their breath.

Kids watch and learn from those around them and there is no bigger role model than a parent. But as a discussion over at Cafe Mom makes clear, not all of us want to be role models for our children. In fact, at least one mother finds the idea that a child might someday imitate her behavior "horrifying."

Cafe Sheri writes: "Oh dear... I make bad choices daily! I don't know what I'm doing! I can be such a jerk!"
In other words, she's human. And as her readers point out, perfection is just not going to happen. But should she even be striving for perfection? Should she fear the watchful eyes of her children because she sometimes does things she hopes they won't do?

Of course not. Humans mess up, make wrong choices and fail. What makes a human a good role model is the ability to own up to those mistakes, learn from them and move on. What better role model could a child have than someone who can show them how to successfully deal with being human?

How do you feel about being your child's role model? Does it fill you with horror or inspire you to be a better person?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.