As parents, we all want to be great role models, which is why most of us attempt to achieve what we deem to be the ‘ideal’ life. Unfortunately, with kids generally picking up on more than even adults do, too many parents find that this tailored approach towards being the perfect role model can backfire.
After all, through these behaviors, we’re attempting to display lives that aren’t exactly true to reality. Hence, if anything, kids are left with unrealistic expectations, and perhaps even pressure to live up to our examples. None of which is going to help in the long run. With that in mind, it’s just possible that, actually, being the best role model is a whole lot simpler than you might expect, and most often comes down to your ability to instead display the following crucial behaviors throughout this quest.
# 1 – Passion
Regardless of what you’re doing, if you’re doing it without passion, then your kids are only ever going to learn that they, too, should force themselves into the ‘right’ thing even if it doesn’t feel good. That’s why, regardless of your behavior, you should always pursue what you’re genuinely passionate about. That could mean volunteering with local charities like Youth Villages instead of heading to far flung destinations like Africa to help children in need, or it could even mean stepping away from blatant good altogether to finally pursue something like gardening. In either instance, your child can see that you love what you’re doing, making them more likely to pursue only what makes them happy, which is really what great parenting is all about.
# 2 – Variety
People are multifaceted, and if you leave your kids thinking the only thing about you is your volunteer work, for instance, then they may similarly limit themselves to one pursuit throughout their lives. That’s why the best role models will always show their full variety, highlighting that, even if they do love volunteering, they also like relaxing, making their own meals, and generally having fun. This, in turn, permits their kids to try things out and prioritize a full and balanced adult life down the line.
# 3 – Humanity
When we’re trying to display our best selves, many of us also cut out the more messy elements of humanity like exhaustion, upset, and a general lack of motivation. After all, we need our kids to see that we’re always raring to go. Or, do we? After all, if their parents were always happy and energized, then kids are way more likely to push their boundaries and even risk avoiding negative emotions at the cost of their mental health. Hence why the best role model should also be a fully fleshed human, with raw emotions, fluctuating energy levels, and, of course, the ability to make and learn from mistakes sometimes.
It makes sense to want the best for your kids, but it’s time to ask yourself – are you really acting as the role model you would most like them to see?