Ministry of Education, Guyana

Importance of Parents As Role Models

Your job as a parent isn’t just to care for and protect your child. You’re also a role model, demonstrating how to act at school and in social situations. Showing of your stellar skills, polite ways and best behaviors is key when it comes to helping your child’s social, emotional and intellectual development.

Primary Caregiver

Even though your child spends time with teachers, friends and other relatives, you’re probably the primary caregiver. This means that she’s watching you more than anyone else. While there may be times when you feel that her friends take on a more prominent role, it’s you who is always there for her. The result it is that you are constantly influencing your child.

Academic Models

While demonstrating social behaviors is one way you act as a role model, you’re also showing your child how he should act in an academic sense. As a toddler or preschooler, showing an interest in activities such as reading or exploring nature can ignite your child’s early love of leaning. Later on, as your child enters school, you can show him how important an education is by your attitude. Think about how you talk about school and what you say. For example, if you talk up school, or reminisce about a favorite subject or teacher, your child sees the positive side of education. Keep in mind, listening to what you say helps him to adopt attitudes, beliefs and values. Putting school down or talking about how much you hated math may make him feel the same way.

Friend Selection

You may play a role in who your child selects as her friends. Showing your child who to hang with means that you can guide your child to pick the best friends for her.

Healthy Lifestyle

Role modeling extends from school and friends to lifestyle choices. You’re a model for your child’s healthy eating and physical fitness practices.Just like your child adopts your attitudes about school, he also picks up on your beliefs about food and exercise. If you eat a healthy diet and are active, your child is likely to follow suit. Watching you choose a salad over cookies or riding a bike instead of sitting in front of the TV shows your child that you value a healthy lifestyle. Likewise, showing your child bad habits such as snacking on chips or chugging soda sets a not-so-healthy example. That said, going overboard and constantly counting calories or never letting yourself have a treat may make your child anxious when it comes to food or overly-conscious about his weight.


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