I am not a child psychologist, but I know my toddler is watching me and modeling my behavior. I see our family’s patterns repeated on the “Little People” stage on the floor of our living room. I see the stories we read to her replayed staring a plastic Minnie Mouse and “turti” the rolling turtle.
On good weeks, her little people say “snooze-me” (excuse me) and have dinner at a table (always 3 people and one animal representing our dog). I realize that even though she doesn’t know what we are talking about all the time, she is observing and storing our material.
Ever see that t-shirt that says, “be the person your dog thinks you are”?
Well, forget it! Be the person you want your child to become. Your child is ALWAYS watching and listening – even when they seem focused on playing.
I’m talking about more than just the silly words they learn from us. I’m talking about the big-picture. I’ve been asking myself a lot – what type behaviors am I modeling to my daughter? What lifestyle and behaviors do I want my daughter to adopt? What values am I projecting?
I want my daughter to have a positive outlook. I want her to have self-confidence and a mind of her own. I want her to try things that make her uncomfortable. I want her to be able to set a goal and see it through. I want her to value herself and practice self-care. I want her to build healthy relationships with friends and family. I want her to speak positively about herself, others and her experiences.
I want all of these things for my daughter and yet, I struggle to model them.
Ever feel the same way? Ask yourself what behaviors and lifestyle you’re modeling to your child. Be honest with yourself and make changes. Wear the t-shirt. Be the person you want your child to resemble.