10 Things Your Kids Need to See YOU Doing

As a former early childhood professional, I’m keenly aware of how much children learn from observing those around them. The adults in a child’s life are especially influential.

I was recently thinking about what I want my children to see me doing and I came up with this list of essentials:

1. Reading.

I don’t read as much as I would like to. Plus, when I do read, it’s while I’m riding the exercise bike or before bed. Children need to see their parents reading and enjoying books. By modelling an appreciation of literature, children are more likely to engage in reading as well.

Try scheduling reading time as a family. Everyone grabs some books and reads on the couch together. 

2. Helping those less fortunate.

We are a one-income family. Even though our budget is tight, we often look for ways to help those less fortunate. Whether it’s donating food to the food bank or collecting money for the homeless, we do what we can to help those less fortunate.

Action item:

Commit to one volunteering or charitable action at least once a month. Whenever possible, involve your children. It could be as simple as asking them to look through their drawers to select clothing items to donate to a local shelter. Another idea is to have your children choose several items to donate to the food bank

3. Saying please and thank you.

I don’t mean to sound like your grandparents but what’s with the lack of manners nowadays? I think good manners are essential and have an enormous impact on the way people interact with you. Children need to see their parents being polite with others because this is the fastest way for them to learn. They won’t do it if they don’t see you doing it!

Action item:

When someone holds a door open for you, say thank you (or be the one holding the door open for someone else). Be kind and polite to servers and cashiers. Be well-mannered with your spouse. If your hubby washes the laundry, thank him for it (and make sure the kids see you doing so as well). Thank your children when they do something helpful. 

4. Making healthy choices.

Many factors contribute to living a healthy lifestyle. From exercise to food choices, to adequate sleep and hygiene, we have got to demonstrate to our children what a healthy lifestyle looks like.

Action item:

When selecting beverages, opt for water instead of soda. Involve your children in making healthy choices at the grocery store; instead of chips, get hummus and carrots! Opt for a family walk over a family movie. Demonstrate proper (and thorough) hand washing. 

5. Praying.

Do you pray in front of your children or do you reserve prayer for meal time and before bed? Our children need to see their parents praising God and thanking Him for His blessings.

Action item:

Pray regularly in front of your children. If something comes up (i.e. they mention a friend has a cold) offer to pray with them. 

6. Doing the things they love.

Do you have a hobby? How often do you reserve that hobby for a time when the children are involved in other activities or after they’re in bed? Wouldn’t it be neat if your child got to see your enthusiasm for building model train sets? Wouldn’t it fascinate them to see how much you enjoy something?

Action item:

Plan your hobby times so that your children have an opportunity to see you doing something that you enjoy. If they ask questions, tell them about your activity. Maybe they would like to try it, too!

7. Playing.

I struggle with playing. Quite often, I feel like there are many other things I can and should be doing. Yet, I always make time to play.

Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Blyhttp://thedeliberatemom.com/
Jennifer Bly is the author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, she's also the creator of the websites: The Deliberate Mom and Deliberate Homeschooling. Jennifer writes about parenting, homemaking, her faith, homeschooling, and life with her husband and two girls. You can stay connected with Jennifer on Instagram or follow on Facebook to get notification of similar articles. This article fist appeared on The Deliberate Mom.

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