Whoever came up with the saying “monkey see, monkey do” probably had toddlers. You’ve probably noticed already – whether it’s to your joy or frustration – that your little ones will mimic a lot of what you do. This is why it’s so important to be a good role model for your toddlers because they will aim to emulate you as much as possible.
With this in mind, here are our top tips on how to be a good role model for your toddlers.
Empathy is an essential behaviour for building and maintaining healthy relationships. For adults who spent many years interacting with others, showing empathy can feel like second nature. This is a habit that some kids need help in developing. Show your children what it means to be empathetic towards others by doing this yourself in front of them.
Show them manners
Every child needs good manners and who better to learn them from than you? Whilst it’s good to teach them manners, you need to show them how to use them too. If your kids hear using manners correctly they will learn how to use them too.
Show them how to make screen time a good thing
The use of screens is a topic often debated amongst parents. The thing, in today’s day and age, it’s nearly impossible to remove screens from your toddler’s life entirely – unless you plan to banish technology from your life too.
The trick is to demonstrate how to have a healthy relationship with screens and to show them the right content. There are some great free cartoons for babies and toddlers available online that your toddlers will love. Why not enjoy these shows as a family so they can see screen time as a social activity rather than simply a way to pass the time?
Foster a love of reading
A love of reading will help your child to explore fantastical worlds and learn important things about various topics and life. If your kids never see you pick up a book, can you blame them if they don’t want to do the same?
Show them how great books are by enjoying them yourself. If you aren’t a big reader, why not read books to your toddlers instead? This is a great way to spend time together as a family.
Model a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, no matter their age. If your kids see you spending all your time sitting down on the couch and eating unhealthy food, they will assume that this is normal and look to do the same. If they see you enjoying exercise and eating healthy food the majority of the time, they will learn to have similar respect for their bodies.
Demonstrate how to communicate
Good communication skills go beyond simply speaking clearly. People need to be able to articulate other things too, like their ideas and how they’re feeling. Show your toddler how to do this in a positive and constructive way and they will begin to do the same.
By showing these behaviours to your toddlers, they will learn them from their favourite role model – you!