Whether you like it or not, you are your children’s first role model and educator. It is through their upbringing and your actions that they learn a lot about themselves and the world around them. Though life is filled with ups and downs, poor choices and mistakes, your job is to essentially show them how to be a great person. You can do this essentially by being a great example in your own life.
Maintain Good Health
Too many people these days are being diagnosed with preventable diseases that are altering their lives (and even cutting them short). Though there are a number of causes for conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, lifestyle choices such as a poor diet and low physical activity contribute a lot. As old habits can be hard to break when you’re an adult, it would be wise for you to teach your children how to maintain their health. This includes eating nutritious meals at least 3 times a day, getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and exercising for 30 minutes to an hour at least 5 times a week. Your children should not only hear lectures about the importance of a good diet and exercise but should see you completing these activities on a regular basis.
Your Emotional Well-Being Matters Too
Mental illness is also at an all-time high in the country. Again, there are several underlying causes, but many people are diagnosed with mental disorders including chronic stress, anxiety, and depression because they don’t know how to cope in overwhelming situations nor do they know how to care for their emotional health on a regular basis. You can show your children differently by learning how to reduce stress, managing conflict maturely, simplifying your life, doing things you enjoy, and even getting help from friends, family, doctors, therapists, or facilities like Mission Harbor when things get out of hand.
Manage Your Finances Responsibly
There is not a lot of financial education provided in school, yet money and credit make the world go around. Without the proper management of finances and your credit, everything from obtaining a job, car, or home can be complicated. Not to mention, the mismanagement of your finances can lead to serious amounts of debt which can cause conflict with your health and your personal relationships. Be a great example to your children by getting serious about your finances. When they are of age, allow them to see you do things like balance the checkbook, put money in savings, create the household budget, pay bills, and invest.
Be Kind to Others
If people were to be kinder and support one another, the world would be a better place. No good deed is too small, and doing good in the world means good will come back to you. Your children need to see that you do more than just care for and support your immediate family, but that you’re also willing to go the extra mile to help your fellow man. Volunteer some of your time to the community by cleaning parks or reading to elementary students, give back by providing financial donations to your favorite charities, and even use your skills and talents to provide service those in need. Even small gestures like helping someone put their belongings in the car or allowing someone with fewer items to cut you in a long line can show your children what it means to look beyond themselves.
Be Unapologetically You
In a society where everyone strives for perfection or to meet the standards and expectations the world has on them, it is important now, more than ever, to be comfortable in the skin you’re in. Too many people suffer from mental illness or feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled in life simply because they’re trying to impress others or live up to someone else’s expectations. Show your children how to be confident in who they are and where they fit into the world by being unapologetically you. Own your strengths, work on your weaknesses, support causes you stand behind, rock fashions that make you feel confident, and never let the opinions of others to stop you from accomplishing your dreams.
There are a lot of negative examples of how to live life. There are also a lot of mediums that easily expose your children to such influences. The only way to override the bad is to show your children more good. Start today with suggestions such as those provided above to turn your life around for the better. The future and well-being of your children depend on it.