Children learn from who you are rather than what you tell them

How does this resonate with you? How does this sentence make you feel?

Take a few seconds and think about it.

It is a good time to self reflect, think about your values, your beliefs, the things that you do…

How many of that you are applying that right now  – reflecting the values of your parent’s beliefs and values?

Take your time and think about it.

When I came across this statement about ‘do’ rather than ‘say’, it took me quite a while to really appreciate what it meant. I am a person who is used to “tell” my children what to do, because that’s what I was brought up with. My parents were busy; they are working two jobs while we were growing up. They were hardly home, so when they were home, their guidance and parenting method were “telling”; for example “do this”, “don’t do that”, “do that”, “study”, “don’t go out”… all the “do’s” and “don’ts”.

Remember, there is no right or wrong; it was not bad parenting nor they were doing anything wrong. It was how they were brought up and that was what they knew about parenting. So the cycle was passed on to the new generation and that was my whole parenting concept – TELLING!

When I read the above statement about ‘do’, I really took a deep look at how I interact with my children. I read various parenting resources, became more conscious about my conversations with my children and observed their reactions to the different tone and language I used. I discussed this with my husband and my kids, and true enough, they prefer not to be “told”, but they rather model positive productive actions.

Nagging or empowering?

A mum asked me how she can make her daughter practice her piano without constantly nagging her to do so. This is a very common question, and how do you overcome this?

I shared with her the statement above. You can’t force anyone to like something just because you think it is right. But you can share your passion and your joy of the music, introduce her to orchestras and piano concerts, share with her the benefits of music in terms of learning and start introducing music at home.

Find out whether there is there any music association or music groups at school that your child can participate…and be interested in her progress and be supportive when she is practicing. Be a positive model and your passion empowers them.

How does the statement of ‘do’ and not ‘say’ resonate with you? I would love to hear what your experience is and how you’ve modeled what you would like to see in your children rather than telling them what to do.

Children learn from who you are rather than what you tell them. Be the example you want your children to be.

Happy connecting with your family.