Are you the type of woman you want your daughters to be when they grow up? Setting a good example of how to behave is just one of many ways to be a strong role model for your daughter. I’ve been feeling guilty about how I act in front of my girls, so I’m doing a re-set. Here are 5 ways to be a strong role model for your daughter (or son!).
1. Hide Your Insecurities
Weight, appearance, and intelligence are three characteristics that should never be measured by society’s standards. Children should love who they are regardless of what someone else defines as perfection. If my girls hear me talking about “looking fat” “feeling ugly” or “not being smart enough,” they’ll eventually question themselves. I can’t protect my daughters from the world, but I can teach her how to love the girl she sees in the mirror for all that she is. A good role model hides her insecurities.
2. Be Conscious of Who is Listening
At what age do children begin to comprehend adult conversation? The other day I was talking to my sister about my insecurities as a Mom and a blogger. Annabelle was sitting next to me, playing quietly, but listening intently. At that moment, I realized it was time to start taking my phone calls somewhere private. It’s crucial to keep children out of ear shot when it comes to adult conversations. There are some behaviors my daughters don’t need to mimic and doubting one’s self worth is at the top of the list.
Want more? Read: “Why Mommy and Me Time is Important”
3. Work Hard, but Remember to Play
It sucks to be told the truth by a five year old. A few weeks ago, Annabelle pointed out my latest flaw, “All you do is work and never play with us.” Since taking on a part time job in addition to my blog, I’ve dedicated my every waking moment to work. Then we went on a weeklong vacation without internet where I couldn’t work and I remembered what it’s like to HAVE FUN. Be a role model for your daughter by working hard, but always make time to play.
Role models distinguish themselves in such a way that others admire and want to emulate them.
4. It’s okay to be weak, but remember to be strong too.
There is a right time and a wrong time to be weak. During some of the most difficult times in my life I’ve hidden my true emotions from my daughters. Don’t get me wrong, the girls have seen me cry before. My daughters understand crying is a natural release for physical or emotional pain. However, when my cousin died suddenly last summer, I kept the heart wrenching sobs and hyperventilating behind closed doors. Little people shouldn’t see emotion they cannot comprehend, especially when they can’t help.
5. Foster kindness, empathy, and good manners in your kids.
As parents it is our job to foster kindness, empathy, and good manners in our children. They learn from example – so if you’re rude, your kids may be too. However hard you try to be the GOOD person you want your children to be though, society can ruin your work.
When we learned Annabelle was unkind to a classmate a few months ago, my heart broke. After speaking to the teacher, the parents of the classmate, and Annabelle, I realized her behavior was imitating a character in a show she enjoys. We had a long talk about empathy and treating others the way we want to be treated. She also stopped watching the show… and in no time Annabelle was back to her sweet self. Don’t let your child be influenced by the bad in the world.
I know I have made mistakes in parenthood, but I can remedy all the wrong by starting over. I want to be a strong role model for my daughters – they are our future after all.
Read more posts about Motherhood here.
Caitlin Houston is a Connecticut based life and style blogger.