How to Teach Children by Example
Today, we’ll talk about how to teach children by example. You’ve heard it countless times, and it’s something that you might be very familiar with. In fact, you might think it’s easy to do. However, it’s not always easy to be the best role model.
Leading by example is a task that you have to do day after day, moment by moment. It’s useless to do every once in a while. In fact, that could actually confuse infants. Children learn through observational learning.
Therefore, you don’t want them learning something bad from you. If you want your children to do good deeds, then they need to see you doing them too.
Children learn good behavior just like they learn bad behavior. Behavior isn’t something that happens by magic, and it’s not purely genetic. In fact, when children behave well, it’s not because of luck. Just how kids can learn certain behaviors, they can also learn to change them.
Additionally, the same goes for adults because behavior is learned. The ability to be good people doesn’t just appear suddenly. Therefore, we can also learn to be better people to set a good example for our kids.
“The example is stronger than the rules.”
– Nikolái Gógol –
Be a role model for children
Children learn by copying. Kids are able to observe and imitate models very easily. In fact, they learn to talk by copying others. They learn languages simply by listening, observing and imitating. Children learn attitudes, values, personal preferences and customs thanks to this as well.
Since children copy the behaviors of the people around them, you have lots of influence on how your children learn. What you say or do in front of them will influence, in some way, their way of thinking and behaving. This is because you’re acting as their role model when you teach children by example.
Additionally, children copy practically everything they see from adults. They learn most of their behavior patterns. Therefore, it’s important to be good examples.
On the other hand, children also learn a lot from their environment. Therefore, you need to give kids experiences that teach them values and foster responsibility. Their behavior is a reflection of what they see.
“Words convince, but example drags.”
– Santa Teresa of Calcutta
What happens when you teach children by example?
If you want your child’s behavior to change, you have to take a look at your own behavior. However, this isn’t always easy. Changing your behavior will also change your child’s behavior. The way you behave in front of your little ones affects the way they behave with you and other people.
To begin, it would be good to make a list of things you’d like your children to do and start applying them to yourself. It’s always good to improve the way we act as adults.
Children believe whatever you tell them. Therefore, they act the way you want them to act. If you tell a child that he fights too much, he’ll think it’s part of his personality and will always act out. However, if you tell him that he knows how to play quietly, he’ll believe it. Then, he’ll try to play nicely.
“Example isn’t another way to teach, it’s the only way to teach.”
– Albert Einstein
Pay attention to what you do and say. Don’t do it just when there are children around, but all the time. If you get used to behaving in a certain way, it will be easier to do it when there are kids around.
Support your children
Show support! Children need lots of support. By supporting your children, they’ll definitely be more motivated. In fact, it will help them deal with difficult situations, face their fears, and cope with stress. Also, you can reach out to help them solve their problems.
It’s important to praise specific behavior. By doing this, you’re telling children what the right way to behave is. You’re highlighting their strengths. Therefore, they’ll trust themselves more and feel like they can make good choices.
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- Severe, S. (2002). Cómo educar a sus hijos con el ejemplo. Editorial AMAT.