Most parents know their kids are watching what they do and what they say, understanding their values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors may well be passed on to their children as adults. Perhaps what many parents do not fully realize is the degree and extent to which this is happening.
The behaviors children see their parents display become part of their social DNA and determine how they feel about themselves, others and life in general. When parents exhibit the best of values and do not allow life’s pressures to compromise those values, the child responds to life’s situations in much the same way, exhibiting those same wonderful values they witnessed in their parents.
What parents do and say can have a chemical effect on the child as well, triggering the release of either healthy or unhealthy chemicals in the child’s body and brain, directly impacting the child’s chemistry, neurotransmitters and hormones. Calm, happy, healthy parents stimulate healthy chemical activity in their children. When parents are stressed, they stimulate stress chemicals in their children, making them more likely to develop learning, mood and behavior challenges.
Here are a few steps to being a great role model for children:
~ Ask yourself if kids see values from you that you would want them to live by in their own lives.
~ Speak about the importance of core values your family stands by.
~ Check your stress level and become aware of how you behave and speak when stressed.
~ Learn skills for reducing stress, keeping body and brain healthy in a stressfree way.
We can help keep the stress and anxious feelings out of our children’s lives and help them to create a pattern of peace and tranquility. Setting a positive example is a gift that parents can give to their children that will carry over into their adult life, which in turn they will reflect to their own children. What children see, they will become.
Dr. Sandy Gluckman, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and educator on effective, whole brain learning, along with creator of the program Parents Take Charge! For more info, call 972-758-1246 or visit ParentsTakeCharge.com.