We are the Star Role in our Child’s Relationship Production!


Post written by Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC of Imagine Hope Counseling Group

When we think of “role models” our mind often goes to teachers, coaches, or people in our community that showed us positive ways to develop into positive people. We are better for being taught by them.

As parents I think it is easy to forget that we are on stage all the time with our kids. We are being role models to them. They are little sponges that are soaking up everything. Little ones (and big ones, too) are trying to figure out their world and how to relate to everyone in it.

Guess what..we are the star role in their production!

I’ve always known this, particularly with what I do for my career. But I am always amazed at how I am still stunned by what my kids say sometimes and how it reminds me that I am not just teaching this to my clients, it’s true for me, too!

Right now my 2.5 year-old son is picking up EVERYTHING we say! He is mimicking his 6 year-old brother in everything from running around shooting “bad guys” with his imaginary gun made from his finger, to telling me every time I put food in front of him, “I don’t like that!”

As a side note- Luckily I have The Confident Mom’s tips on that one. “You can have what I put in front of you or make yourself a peanut butter sandwich”. Love it and it works!

Most recently I realized how much he is watching my husband. This is what inspired this blog.

On my days off, I am so focused on the kids that I don’t take a lot of time putting on make-up or doing my hair. A hat and some chap stick will do. It’s all about them!

One day I did have to “dress up” and put on make-up. When I was completely ready, I sat down to eat with the family. My two year-old looked at me and said, “Mommy, you look so pretty!” It was so sweet! I looked at my husband and said, “You know where he heard that, don’t you?” My husband knew what I meant. He heard it from him.

My husband is not one who dotes over people. He gives compliments when they are deserved, but does not over do it by any means. But one thing he always tells me, and often in front of the boys, is how beautiful he thinks I am. Now my son is seeing that and modeling it. And I know my son understands what he is saying because he didn’t just repeat it any old day. He actually said it at a time that I did look better than I usually do!

He said it on a day that in his mind I looked pretty.

This was a great reminder for me.

How do I talk to my kids?

How do I relate to my husband?

Am I showing him affection, giving him compliments, and modeling what a good wife looks like?

Am I showing them what I want them to find one day in a woman?

Or, am I giving them a vision of it being ok to be in a mediocre relationship or even a bad one at that?

They are watching and we are the example. That feels like a lot of responsibility and pressure, doesn’t it? It is! It is a lot of responsibility, but one we sign up for when we choose to be parents.

Some take aways for you to think about today-

What kind of a relationship are you modeling to your children?

Will they expect someone to treat them with respect and love?

Or will they allow someone to treat them poorly, hurt them physically or emotionally, or disrespect them?

If they are learning how to be a mother/father through you, do you think they are getting a positive example?

How are you teaching them to handle conflict- Through screaming and yelling, avoiding, or through positive communication?

There are many ways we influence them. I would encourage you to pick one area to work on at a time. Perhaps if your relationship with your spouse is suffering, you could start there.

The marriage is the foundation for the kids emotional well being. If they feel the marriage is secure, they feel they can conquer the world. If it’s not going well, they feel insecure and often experience anxiety.

Or if your marriage is intact (Congratulations by the way!!) are you modeling your faith? Are you displaying the morals you are teaching them? That could be a good starting point.

I have mentioned many areas to work on today but just take one at a time!

Thank you for reading today! I hope this has given you something to think about.

What role are you starring in?

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