Child Behavior: Are You A Good Model?

Dr. Purushothaman
October 6, 2013

Child behavior is a subject that is vast and can be talked about for hours on end, but as a parent, you play a major role in how your child's behavior is shaped and molded. Children love their parents and they begin watching their every movement from a very young age. They often begin to imitate their parents at a very young age as well. This means it's time to do some soul-searching of your own to ensure you are the type of person you want your children to imitate.

Most parents don't realize that child behavior is a model of what they have seen, heard, and been exposed to in life until the child says their first curse word. Many parents in this situation don't know what to do and they immediately begin to discipline the child and tell them that they are not old enough to talk like that. But, this brings a parent to a situation in life where they need to begin watching their language and their behavior a little more. The bottom line is that most children do not learn these words from preschool or on the school bus - they learn them at home.

This brings us to another behavior problem that we often see with children. Whining is a huge issue for some parents, but remember child behavior is heavily influenced by parental behavior. Children come home from school and they whine because they have to do their homework, they whine that they have to clean their rooms and they whine about a variety of other things that they don't want to do. Now, think about what you do when you come home from work. Do you complain and whine about work? Do you complain and whine about cooking dinner or doing laundry or all of the other chores that you have to do around the house? If so, imagine what it might be like in your home if everyone came home from school or work, did their "home" work, and then sat down for an enjoyable dinner for each other. Imagine how much whining and complaining could be eliminated from your home. Once again, you have had a direct influence on child behavior.

We all have our chores to do and we all have bad days. The minor complaint here and there is nothing huge, but you should do your best not to complain and whine in front of your children. If you must do this, then go to a room where your children will not hear you and talk it out with your spouse or a friend on the phone in privacy. This will allow you to vent your adult frustrations without exposing your children to them on a daily basis.

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