I’m A Model, Do You Know What I Mean? Role Modelling For Your Kids

Social Development

I’m A Model, Do You Know What I Mean?  Role Modelling For Your Kids

I think this is an oft-overlooked aspect of parenting that needs to be addressed. Our kids are not passive observers of us as parents. They watch us they learn behviors from us so it is important for us to act responsibly. The not so perfect example from our house came one night when I was putting on Dyl’s diaper and we hear “Ry come back here!!!” Without missing a beat, Dyl looks up at me and says “f@cking Ryan”. It’s amazing what kids pick up on just by watching and listening. Role modelling for your kids turns out to be very important.

Without missing a beat, Dyl looks up at me and says “f@cking Ryan”. It’s amazing what kids pick up on just by watching and listening.

I’m not perfect, despite my best intentions. But there are some things that I am always sure to do with my kids. The reason being, I am their role model and they will learn a host of behaviors from me, good and bad. This, my fellow parents, is a big source of frustration for me. There are many things that I see on a day-to-day basis that makes me want to explode, while I see other parents doing things in front of their kids that I am sure they wouldn’t eant modeled, and could be potentially very dangerous.

I am their role model and they will learn a host of behaviors from me, good and bad.

I’ll start with the most obvious; parents who smoke in front of their kids. I encourage everyone to quit especially if you have kids. I know it is a powerful addiction and INCREDIBLY difficult to quit. You know and I know it is unhealthy for you and your children. My issue is: why do you feel the need to light up in front of your kids? It really bothers me when I see parents walking down the street with their kids and they are smoking. Please, if you must smoke, please do not smoke in front of your kids.

Why do you feel the need to light up in front of your kids?

I try to be a positive role model for my kids. I am a cyclist, and I bike Ry to school everyday. Each day we both strap on our helmets and off we go. We BOTH wear our helmets. On a daily basis I see parents biking with their kids either on their bikes, in a trailer, or biking along side their kids. Many parents are not wearing their helmets. This is beyond me; even the best cyclists in the world have accidents. Take a moment to think what would happen if a parent was biking with their kids and they fell and the kids were ok and the parent wasn’t. In many countries, there are no federally mandated helmet laws, although I think there should be. When my brother was younger he fell off his bike, and his helmet saved his life, so I have seen first hand what even a minor spill can cause. So please, wear a helmet when you cycle especially with your kids. Let’s model safety together!

Each day we both strap on our helmets and off we go. We BOTH wear our helmets.

I do witness great parental behavior every day. The little polite things like holding doors open, exchanging pleasantries with people and treating others with respect. I love seeing this, better yet, I love it when I hear kids ask their parents why they held the door or helped someone out. The parents use this a great teachable moments. This always brings a smile to my face.

What pet peeves do you have with other parents? Don’t be shy – we all have them! Share yours with me.

Other pet peeves? Playing on your phone with your kids, and being a helicopter parent. What I like: family meal time.

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Andrew Levy PhD

About Andrew Levy PhD

Andrew obtained his PhD from the University of Waterloo in Physiology, a topic not entirely having to do with with kids health specifically. Andrew’s expertise in kids health and raising children stems from his now 4+ years of direct hands on experiences with 4 young boys. My goal is to share some practical advice and some of the little not-so-perfect things my kids have done and how we managed to figure it all out so you can too.

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