Don’t fool yourself for one minute.
a special feature from Leslie Zinberg & Kay Ziplow, founders grandparentslink.com
The kids are always watching us as we are their examples, so what we say and how we say things is really important. Remember when we used to spell out something because we didn’t want the kids to hear? Well, now with technology and all the other programs or apps they are watching… the kids are exposed to much, much, more than ever before. They are truly savvy. Children at every age group are visually witnessing adult behavior and mannerisms at every level including our body language.
According to HealthyChildren.org’, “Children learn by watching everyone around them, especially their parents. When you use manners and good coping strategies, you teach children to do the same.” We owe it to our children to live by our best example (we are not always perfect), and set certain standards of behavior through good communication skills.
Here we share with you these three key ingredients:
Point out sharing among adults. Children often feel that they are the only ones who have to ‘use your manners, share, and take turns.’ So, when adults share, point it out to children, and make them aware of a particular incident or action that they definitely need to take notice of.
Model good ways to calm down. Teach your children how to calm down when they are stressed or upset. For example, if you are agitated about sitting in traffic, you might say: “I am really frustrated right now. Please help me calm down by taking 10 deep breaths with me.”
Teach children to say how they feel. If you are really exasperated, you might want to say, “Y ou are driving me crazy right now. ” But, we know better as adults to not express such a hurtful message. Instead, express your actual feelings so as to truly set an example. Try saying “ I am really frustrated right now.” This teaches children to say what they feel , instead of making critical or hurtful statements. Then help your children do this when they are upset. For example: “It looks like you are feeling sad.”
What we do, and how we present ourselves in front of children will forever leave a lasting mark on them as they grow into adulthood. There’s no better time than now as a grandparent to step up to the challenge to be the best example we can be every day, as we continue to grow and flourish as well.