Healthy eating habits are learned during family meal times.

What Are Some Benefits of Being a Positive Role Model?

by Melissa Willets

Being a positive role model for your kids has endless benefits. Not only are you practicing what you preach, (See? Mommy doesn't yell out of anger, either), but you are giving your tots a road map for how to lead successful, fulfilled lives. Indeed, little ones are always watching and listening. So although nobody is perfect, do your best to model the kind of behavior you want your angels to aspire to.

1. Discipline

You cannot effectively discipline a child without modeling good behavior yourself. For instance, how can you expect your kiddo to remain calm in frustrating situations if she sees you cry and scream when you don't get your way? In fact as AskDrSears.com points out, a parent's example is by far the biggest influence in a how a child reacts to authority and gets along with others. Sure, discipline is about saying "no" when your tot reaches for a hot stove, but it is also about being a positive role model and exhibiting desired behaviors.

2. Healthy Habits

Around the dinner table is an important place to be a positive role model. Dr. Tanya Altman, a pediatrician with the American Academy of Pediatrics states in a video on HealthyChildren.org, that kids pay close attention to the messages parents send about food. If you say something like, "Ugh, if I eat this pasta my rear end will get even fatter," imagine how your little one may come to view eating. Instead, use dinnertime as an opportunity to demonstrate healthy habits, like eating veggies and drinking milk. The same is true for instilling the value of exercise in your kiddos. When they see you lace up your running shoes, they are learning that fitness is part of a healthy lifestyle.

3. Relationships

Modeling positive relationships for your kiddo will benefit him now and in the future. A child is more likely to feel good about himself if he lives in a stable, loving household. On the other hand, if mommy and daddy are always fighting, he may grow to feel scared, unsure of himself and needy. Do your best to show your sweetie what it means to have healthy relationships, both with your spouse and other family members, as well as with work colleagues and friends. Your kiddo will develop positive relationships in the future, only if he has seen how they work.

4. Self-Esteem

A tot's sense of self-worth is directly linked to his parents, according to AskDrSears.com. If you project a positive self-image, your little one is more likely to feel good about himself, too. Remember, smiles are contagious! Moreover, your little ray of sunshine is more likely to exhibit good behavior if he has high self-esteem. So don't underestimate how important it is to work on your own self-image. The better you feel about yourself, the better the parent you will be. In addition, this positive attitude will trickle down to your tot.

About the Author

Melissa Willets has been writing about parenting, pregnancy and "all things mom" since 2009. She has contributed to many websites, including Pampers.com and WhatToExpect.com.

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