“Every word, facial expression, gesture or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self worth. It is sad that so many parents don’t realize what messages they are sending.”- Virginia Satir
Children are good observers and imitators. They tend to copy and replicate the words and actions of people around them especially their parents and caregivers.
What they say and do is usually what they’ve heard and seen!
As time goes on, children begin to form belief systems based on the actions and words they have been exposed to. Therefore, it is imperative for parents and caregivers to watch what they portray either directly or indirectly to their children.
Directly: In terms of the parents’ actions and reactions to their children.
What you say and do to them matters a lot.
Indirectly: Refers to the parents’ actions and reactions to others in the presence of the children. This connotes how you talk and act towards others in the presence of your children.
Children have the capacity to emulate behaviours/attitudes
Try to avoid the following:
Insulting and Cursing: Try as much as possible not to hurl insults or curses on your child if he/she misbehaves. Also don’t insult or curse others in the presence of your child. Love with your words instead!
Yelling: Some parents think that yelling is a way of stamping their authority over their children. This should not be. Try to correct them in a more constructive manner when they exhibit unacceptable behaviours.
Lying: Never lie to your children. Always be honest with them and let them know that honesty is the best policy. The truth should be told all the time.
Comparing: One of the worst things parents can do to their children is comparing them to others. Every child needs to feel unique and accepted at home. Stop comparing your child to others as it destroys the child’s self-esteem.
Rather than display the above, reinforce positive behaviours with praises, rewards and encouragements while constructively dealing with negative behaviours.
Communicate love to your children because what you give to them is what they’ll become and in turn give to others. Always remember that regardless of what you tell them, they are watching you!
Give your children a chance to believe in themselves.
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