Sunday, October 25, 2009

Want your child to be happy and healthy? Become happy and healthy parent first

The world smiles when you smile but it doesn't really cry with you - this is generally true for the world but does not completely apply to your kids. Your kids do show signs of stress if you are in the dumps. Good or bad - the mood does rub-off on people around you - including your kids. Your son or daughter will learn to behave the way you do - overtime. We all behave in ways we shoudn't in front of our kids once in a while but it's the daily dose of the same bad behavior (or good for that matter) that shapes our kids personality to a significant extent. Do I have statistical data to prove this theory? - No. But carefully study your kids and kids of your friends and list down the key behavioral traits - good and bad. More often than not you'll see reflection of the parents' behavior or personality in the kids. Take for example my 5-yr old son's play-buddy - he's awesome at making new friends and has great social skills. On the other hand he also gets "mean" sometimes by making teams and tries to exclude my son. When I did a little bit of analysis it was crystal clear - he is the exact copy of his mom as far as these two behavior traits are concerned. I doubt his mom sits down with him every night and teaches him these personality traits. My daughter never seems to get excited about anything - I rarely see her jumping up and down about anything. That gets me frustrated sometimes but I look at myself and I know where did that trait come from - I don't show emotions very easily and thats how she is. Now, I'm not trying to say that your kids will be a 100% copy of you - but your behavior and personality as a parent will be a big part of thier personality as well as thier likes and dislikes as a grown-up.

So what can we do knowing what I've written above. Want your kids to read books? Pick-up a book and start reading yourself - yes, everyday and with genuine enthusiasm. Kids can tell when you are faking it. Want your daughter to be good in sports? - play soccer, tennis or golf with your buddies and take him along with you or at the minimum watch the sport on TV with her. Want your daughter to have interest in music? - listen to good music yourself and dance or sing with it. Want your son to have interest in cooking? - do cooking in front of him and show how much genuine fun you are having doing it. Want your kids to eat veggies? - cook and eat veggies (with a smiling face) in front of them. It may take some time but you'd have a very high chance at teaching your kids the things you really want them to learn. A lot of times, parents just tell thier kids to do something (like read for 30 minutes) while they themselves are busy doing some office work or watching TV. It's not going to work and in the end you'd get frustrated and take it out on your kids.

So in short - be the change you want to see in your kids. Be happy, adopt healthy eating habits and make smart choices in general and your kids will watch and learn without you sitting down and teaching them.

It's not what you say but what you do that matters - specially to your kids. Wow ... did I just come up with this or have I heard this saying before?

1 comment:

  1. I Agree with your observation, The key is to be able to decipline yourself to the extent that you bring about a change that is consistent over a period of time.

    Next Topic may be to suggest ways to systematically and consistently bring about about change both in your self and the family.