Saturday, August 16, 2014

What Message Do You Model?

Role Model = Parent

What message are you sending to your children by your words and actions? 

Are you a cynic, a grouch, a couch potato, a glass half empty person?

 Every thing you do impacts your children, positive or negative. We have an amazingly powerful influence on our children's future. 

It starts at birth. 

This is too much fun, pops!

Here is a 60 second clip entitled, "Children See, Children Do". It's very powerful. 

Well, what did you think? It sends a clear message.

You know the Harry Chapin song, The Cats in the Cradle... 


Do you ever do any of these?

  • Spank your child - any kind of physical control is absolutely wrong, in my opinion. This message can not be explained away. It throws 'respect' out the window, and Papa Green Bean's number one principle for raising a child is ultimate respect. Unconditional love does not spank. 
  • Lose your temper - yelling at the child or displaying rage with another adult in front of your child. This was displayed vividly in the video first shown, "Children see, children do". 
  • Make idle threats or promises - A terrible habit some parents get into is to threaten the loss of a privilege, but then not carry it out. The child must know you are good to your word. It's basically lying to your child. And when you make a promise, do it. Always be honest. 
  • Tune out your child - Being a great parent doesn't mean you must be with them every minute. Over-bearing parents are a huge problem (see the last point), but the best multitasking will always, always, include keeping an eye and ear open to the child's need to be acknowledged. A simple smile from across the living room, or 'you worked hard on that" is all it takes many times, versus "not now", or "don't bother me". This relates to Harry Chapin's song above. 
  • Do something for your child that they could do for themself - This is a tough one to swallow as it is not as blatantly negative. It takes a lot of understanding to not jump in. Observing your child struggle and fail, from climbing steps to putting on socks and shoes—but if we let them try and try again, and if we provide them enough time, they will absorb patience, understanding, acceptance, focus, and independence—this I am sure of!!!

Papa Green Bean's Way

The way I did it was to make a pledge to myself to never, ever, display negative traits in front of Anna. I divorced when she was young and my first vow, for the benefit of my daughter, was to never make a negative statement about her mother in front of her. I've stuck to it, I believe. Also, I was always honest with Anna. I stuck to my word in our conversations together. She grew up knowing she could trust me. She also knew I was watching her, and that I would encourage her for her efforts more than her results. She knew she had the time to play/work on whatever it was that occupied her, so she developed concentration and confidence in herself. I did use 'time-outs' but even those, today, I'm not so sure about. We'll save that for another day.

Be the best you can for your children, Papa Green Bean

One hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was,
The sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove,
But the world may be different because I was important
In the life of a child.