Modeled Behavior

I’m impressed that I’m even getting to my article, I can’t take my eyes off of NBC… anyone else obsessed with the Olympics? A coworker was joking with me today about how we are so proud of these incredible athletes and we are celebrating them by removing any form of physical activity from our lives for three weeks to watch them, ironic? I hope you are all having a good week, did you love Leisa’s post on Monday? I thought it was amazing.

I’m starting to really show… Which is actually nice to have people say ‘you’re pregnant!’ instead of just staring at my tummy trying to guess if I am or not. But the best thing about showing is that people give me food. Like offer me free food, constantly. I have a coworker that has been bringing me oranges. The baker at Harmon’s snuck me a fresh pumpkin chocolate chip cookie for free, just because I asked if I could have one instead of a dozen. A family I work with were literally giving me all of the snacks in their cupboard. I’m not sure if I’m just giving off an, I’m pregnant and need to eat, zombie sort of vibe… but I’m also not complaining. I’ve even learned that if I mention that something smells good, they will just give up half of their lunch to me. I’m trying not to abuse this power. I digress…

I hope that some of you tried out some sensory play this last week. I know that I was outside a lot with my nieces and nephews this last week and we painted and played in the dirt and they loved it. I would love to hear some of your feedback on sensory play.

Today I wanted to talk about something that has been on my mind lately and the realization of how simple parenting can be for little ones, modeling appropriate behavior.  Many studies have been done to show that children learn from seeing, listening, and doing what their parents and those around them are doing. Especially in those first three years of life when they are taking everything in. Children learn from their parent’s actions and word, they start to see what behavior is good and what behavior is bad.IMG_0675

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been seeing a child for a few months, and we’ve been working on their language and some of the newer words they say are ones that the parent says often, such as ‘huh?’ ‘what the heck!’ ‘no.’ It can be really eye opening for a parent to realize that their child really has been listening and that they might be saying something a little too often… Even today I went to see a child and one of the few words he says is ‘cool,’ because his brother says it so much. It is very important for you to give your child a lot of words to say and ones that you’d want them to say.

Parenting is really living the golden rule, doing to your child what they would do to you. Sometimes this concept seems so easy that we forget it. Think about a behavior that your child does that you dislike, could it be one that you are modeling? For example, a child that is violently hitting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard parents say, “my child keeps hitting, and nothing helps not even spanking, or slapping her hand!” I know that it can be hard in the moment to get your child to stop hitting, but at times they have learned somewhere along the road that when mom or dad is mad at me and wants me to stop they spank or hit my hand. In return, if this child wants you to stop or is upset they will hit you back. It then becomes a cycle of using physical aggression between parent and child. (Keep in mind, most children hit at one time or another! I just used this as an example. It is a natural reflex to hit especially when a child is too young to tell you to stop or that they want your attention. But if it becomes a bigger problem, hitting for everything and violently, a good place to start is to look at what you are doing that might be causing it… No parenting guilt okay?)

No one is a perfect parent, and you can even model to your child how to say sorry when you mess up. Being honest with your child about saying something mean to them, or getting upset when you drop 2 dozen eggs can be a great teaching moment. You don’t have to be perfect you just have to show your child how you would want them to act when they mess up.

As your little one gets older you can model more complex behaviors, such as dealing with stress or treating others with kindness. You can teach your child to talk nicely about others, and really hit it home when you talk nice about the other parents and children in their play group. It is amazing how children can really make you a better person, even if it’s just so you don’t mess their life up 😉

Any funny stories about something your little one said that came directly from you??


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