“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” – Robert Fulghum
We know there are many habits and routines that we don’t want our children to pick up but yet we are not setting good life model or example to them. You may be thinking and saying that you do not want your child to smoke, to munch on titbits, to curse and swear because you know it totally uncool, yet our actions tell the opposite. What you did not know is that, these children learn from watching what their parents do. So always remember, your kids are always watching you.
Here’s 10 things that we as parents should never do in front of our children.
1. Argue or fight with your partner in full-view of the family.
It is inevitable for couples to quarrel or have disagreements at some point in their lives, living together under the same roof. But we will strongly discourage you to argue in front of your children. Research has linked domestic violence and the possibility for aggression, or physical violence to that of the convict’s childhood distress. Stay in control during disagreements and resolve your unhappiness behind closed doors.
2. Be dishonest, even if it’s a harmless white lie.
You are late in sending your child for school and you told the teachers that it was due to a tragic accident that led to a bad jam when the truth is, you woke up late. Your child will know that it is totally untrue.
Lying is an adult-thing that is so common these days that we give excuses and brush it off as something harmless. By lying, you gave your child the wrong impression that it is perfectly fine to lie and that is no big deal, not until they lie to you about bigger issues. Be honest in all possible situations especially when the young is watching or listening.
3. Spending too much time on your gadgets.
If you want your child to be hooked on electronic gadgets at a young age then go ahead and use your gadgets in front of them. Otherwise, we will recommend that you put the phone and iPad down and spend more time reading books and engaging in hands-on experiences with them.
4. Keeping secrets from your partner
You brought your child for a small treat and rope in her help to keep it a secret from your partner and you feel it is perfectly fine. What your child has perceived from your actions is that it is perfectly fine to lie, don’t undermine her capability, she may grow up and start keeping secrets from her Dad and Mum.
5. Making fun and teasing them in front of others
You took an animal toy and pretended the animal was biting him in front of your friends or partner. Your child squealed in horror and you laughed it off at his reaction.
It may be funny to tease and watch your child’s innocent and hilarious reaction but your child may think you are serious. He or she may grow up with negative thoughts such as a fear for animals or a lack of confident in front of others.
Never publicly laugh at or shame your child, you never know the impact it has on their life.
6. Losing your temper
This could mean losing yourself with anyone or any situation – your spouse, work, favourite football team losing, stuck in traffic jam, or even with your children. Children as innocent as they are, they will tend to associate your anger to something that they have done, even if it is not related to them. Each time you flare, you create a fear in them and that makes you less approachable. Not only that, they may live with that fear in them for the rest of their lives.
7. Eating junk food
Eating too much junk food may resulted in health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Refrain from eating junk food in front of your child as your child may feel that it is alright to include these junk foods as part of their diet. The worst thing you would like to handle is your child’s persistent tantrums in insisting that they get their hands on those junk foods. If not, watch what you are eating in front of them.
8. Doing the forbidden
As a responsible adult and a parent to our child, we should never drink or smoke in front of our child unless we want them to pick these habits up when they grow up. Drinking in front of your child might cause them to become fearful of you as alcohol might cause one to talk loudly or behave aggressively towards the family members.
9. Mocking a bothersome friend, family or an underprivileged person you see on the street
You are a role model to your child – what you do and say affects them. By name-calling or bad-mouthing someone, will give your child a deep impression that he should be doing what you do. What goes around, comes around. One day, you might even be the one that they look down or mock at. So be nice and raise one sweet and kind child.
Don’t think it is alright to curse and swear in front of your child as they cannot understand the language or words! They will likely to start off by imitating you, thinking that it is funny. Soon, the regular usage of profanity becomes a habit for them and they will start to use profanity in their everyday conversation and maybe at you too.
We do wish for the best for our children, so before the unpleasant experiences could begin or get worse, do some self-reflection and quit these habits. Get your spouse to remind you whenever it is necessary! Be the right role model for your child!
Written by Crystal Tan