Parents are often riddled with guilt wondering whether they’re providing their children with unconditional love and support. As a mom of two, I’ve learned that there are simple things parents can do to have a positive impact on their kids.
Some people think that saying how you really feel can get you into hot water. But that’s not necessarily true. It all depends on the approach. Going up to someone “guns a blazing” could lead to problems.
But if speaking politely with conviction, you’re more likely have a positive outcome. As a parent, I’m my children’s advocate. I’ve spoken up on their behalf on numerous occasions with them in tow. I strongly believe that being vocal in a respectful way teaches them how to stand up for what they believe in.
Lead by example
How many times have parents told kids not to do something, only to turnaround and do the exact thing they said not to do? I experienced this as a child and remember feeling so confused. So I make it a point to not repeat the same behavior with my children. For example, when I tell my kids to eat their veggies and they see me eating mine, I don’t look like a hypocrite.
Know when to say “I’m sorry.”
When I was a kid, I used to think that parents were never wrong. But that’s not the case. We make mistakes all the time. Some may think that if you admit that you’re wrong, then you’re weak. But, I happen to think that apologizing shows good character.
The other day my daughter said that I made her sad. I gave her a hug and told her I was sorry. That one gesture turned her frown upside down in an instant.
Say “I love you.”
I tell my children I love them everyday. But, I also make sure that they hear me say it to their dad too. When kids see how much their parents love each other, it makes them happy.
Even though we say “I love you” everyday, our family is far from perfect. Sometimes my husband and I have arguments.There are even times when our kids witness our disagreements.
According to Dr. Gordon Harold, a researcher at Cardiff University in Cardiff, Wales, it’s perfectly normal.
“It would be unrealistic to say that, you know, parents should never argue or should never disagree in front of their children,” says Harold. “Arguments and disagreements are a natural part of all relationships.”
That said, I do feel it’s important for parents to communicate with each other as well as with the children, once the dust settles.
While kids may be a bit too young to understand reasons behind some disagreements, allowing them to see mommy and daddy kiss and makeup teaches them important lessons like problem solving.
What else can parents do to have a positive impact on their kids?