Being parents is a wonderful experience that brings great joy and satisfaction but it also implies assuming a great responsibility with a little person who did not ask to come into the world and who now needs multiple cares and, above all, deserves a good education.
In reality, no one is fully prepared for the big adventure what it means to become parents, so the education of children often combines a bit of intuition and a bit of experience. However, there is a maxim that not only confirms popular wisdom but also science: lead by example.
Children learn many things by imitation
In these times, with so much information at our fingertips, many parents fall into the error of thinking that to educate your children well, it is enough to have specific strategies and tools at hand. It is true that Knowing the theory is important, but we must not forget that reality often far exceeds any book. It is not necessary to look for elaborate educational methods, it is enough to teach them by example. In fact, children learn a lot by imitation, so that “do what I say and not what I do” is not valid.
Children begin to know the environment that surrounds them through their parents, who are their first models. The little ones spend a large part of the day looking at their actions, their responses, their emotions and their ways of reacting, these patterns are the The first ones that observe and will mark them forever. In addition, we must take into account that since children are not capable of discerning between good and evil, their reference pattern is their parents.
As you might guess, this implies an enormous responsibility for parents, who must be very attentive to each of their behaviors so that they can set a good example for their children. In fact, it is essential that children do not perceive discrepancies between words and actions. For example, if you tell your child that he should not lie but then he catches you telling a lie, he will feel confused or will think that lying is acceptable. Sermons and punishments will be of little use if the example he has at home is negative.
The same goes for managing emotions. We cannot pretend that the child, who does not yet have the necessary neurological mechanisms to exercise self-control, does not have tantrums or violent behavior when he sees his parents shout and get angry when arguing or even resort to verbal violence. We must not forget that although children do not always understand the meaning of words, they are true specialists in capturing the emotions that are hidden behind them. Therefore, he will believe that losing control and getting angry is something acceptable.
A key factor: The congruence between saying and doing
- Do more, say less The popular proverb tells us that “an act is worth a thousand words”. We can apply this idea to early childhood education since it is much easier for children to imitate a behavior than to understand its causes or elucidate the consequences. So use less lectures and more actions.
- Be consistent with the behavior you demand. Children are attentive to every detail, if they realize that you use one standard for them and another for you, they will feel confused and you will lose moral authority. Therefore, before demanding something from him, make sure that you can lead by example. In fact, sometimes raising a child also involves undertaking a process of personal growth.
- Accept the mistake and apologize. No one is perfect, not even parents. If you make a mistake, apologize to your child, so they understand that it is important to know how to recognize mistakes and be humble enough to ask for forgiveness.