Every mom wants to be a positive influence on her children. It is always heart-breaking when we see our children adopt our less-than-lovely habits, and in many ways, having a child forces us to reflect on ourselves and the decisions we make and behaviors we display.Still, it's never too late to start to be a positive role model in your child's life, through adopting certain practices which if implemented with a whole heart, could impact your child's whole life. Here are 10 ways to be a positive influence in your child's life:
If you never listen, chances are your child won't either. They learn from your behavior first and foremost since you are one of their primary caregivers. Also, in order to lead your child and guide them into their best life will require you listen to what they have to say. Listening more and talking less will help you to gauge situations they find themselves in with more sober judgment. Listening will also help you to hear what is on your child's heart and to adapt your behavior appropriately. It will also communicate care and concern with them. They will grow up to be adults who listen if you are a Mom who listens.
9 Check your relationships
If all of your relationships are a mess, and you continually befriend people who are a bad influence, your child will learn from these patterns. In your relationships with significant others, always forgive and show grace. You don't always have to be right. Show your child that being right in the relationship is more important than being right in an argument with someone. Organize gatherings and play dates for your child. Be an initiator. Show them that it is their responsibility to keep relationships healthy through sincere input, and through allowing honest feedback.
8 Demonstrate self-control
How do you handle stress? Do you stamp your feet and throw a tantrum? Someone is watching. Controlling one's own tongue and emotions will go a long way in teaching children to do the same.
Remember that the power of an airplane isn't necessarily in its wings, but in its brakes. Through your own behavior, demonstrate to your child that feelings are healthy, however, it is not healthy to let these feelings control us, but rather to remain in control of them.
7 Adopt a healthy lifestyle
Nothing preaches 'good health' to your child better than your own actions. Making your health a priority will teach them to do likewise, as will slotting in a daily fitness regime. Remember that even the small decisions you make are being watched by someone and your positive example will lead them to make right choices with regards to health and fitness not just now, but also later on in life. Instead of preaching to them about eating right, do it yourself, Mom!
6 Be a volunteer
When you make community work a priority, your child will also learn that this matters. Why not take them out on your community outreach efforts and let them get involved in giving hand-outs or visiting the elderly, or children who are in need. Serving and volunteering will teach your child about how others have needs, and will also help them to develop teamwork skills.
5 Keep a positive attitude
So often we act and speak without being aware that our actions and words reflect a negative attitude. Changing the way you talk and affirming yourself and others, and speaking positively about life in general, will no doubt have a ripple effect in all areas of your life, including in your parenting.
Your child will hear from you about how life can be a positive experience and will become more solutions (than problems) oriented. They aren't going to see the glass as half full if you don't!
4 Be a dream chaser
When you became a mom, this wasn't permission to give up on you. How you value your dreams will determine whether or not your child takes their own dreams seriously. A child who watches their mom give of herself to them, but also take care of her needs and dreams, will learn that it is possible to care for others out of the overflow of consideration and regard we have for ourselves. 'Letting go' of yourself and your hygiene and goals, using motherhood as an excuse, will teach them to do this in their own relationships with others. Remember, you can't pour from an empty cup.
3 Be a goal setter
Setting goals is imperative if we want to achieve anything in life. Mindlessly drifting through the days will teach your child to do the same. Every child has a dream and showing them that dreams can be reached through setting realistic daily, weekly, monthly, and annual goals will teach them the life skills necessary to reach their dreams. Why not use Sundays as the opportunity to sit down and set the week's goals, and let them sit down with you while you set your goals, to set their own goals?
2 Keep your spiritual health in check
Your child will learn from watching you the value of keeping their spiritual health in check. If you rely on your own strength and lack faith in a higher spiritual power, so too will they.
There is the scriptural verse to train a child in a way they should go, so that when they grow older they will not depart from it. As their spiritual guardian, living a lifestyle of prayer and purposeful living will teach them to do the same.
1 Be excellent in what you do
Nobody was born to be mediocre. This doesn't mean training your child to be a perfectionist. Rather, it means teaching them that they should value themselves and others, and their environment. When you enter a place, you should leave it better than when you found it. Clean up after yourself. Say 'please' and 'thank you'. Maintain a well-groomed appearance.
Value the small things and pay attention to others and their needs. You have got this one Mom. You have everything it takes to be a positive influence in your child's life, both when you are with them, and when they leave for school each day. Then, later in life when they head into adulthood.