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6 Steps to Be a Good Role Model for Your Child

Many parents become unsure about how to be an effective parent and to be a good role model. Parenting well and properly involves being a positive influence on children, as well as their friends. There are many issues that children face as they grow up, from peer pressure to influences that can be less than positive. However, by taking a few pro-active steps, it is possible to engage and motivate your child toward the best and most appropriate activities for their development.

1. Establish Open Communication

Open communication is key to good parenting. Establishing a willingness to engage and be active with your child is essential.  Ensure that each day, you have a discussion with your child about how things are going. Find out about any upsets so that they can be addressed and handled quickly.

Ask your child if she has anything that they would like to talk about. Deal with questions and answers fairly and openly, giving as much factual information as possible. By being open and relaxed, you will establish a safe space in which your child can communicate. Be prepared to offer information and suggestions to solve problems. Always make time available to discuss any issue that comes up.

2. Teach by Example

One of the most effective ways to be a good role model for your child is to provide an example of how to properly behave. Be mindful of how you speak and act in social situations, as well as in front of the family. The phrase "children learn what they live" really is true. Showing your child how a successful and happy adult lives is the best way to parent effectively.

3. Be Involved in Your Child's Life

Take a pro-active stance when it comes to your child's activities. Be active in sports, academics, artistic endeavors, and anything that they are interested in. Children from households where parents actively participated in what they did, made it far less likely that they would become involved in gangs, drugs or other inappropriate behaviors.

4. Encourage Good Behavior

Reward your child for work that is well done. Praise and acknowledgment is key for the self-esteem and development of any child and will give incentive to continue. Make your child be responsible for a chore other than their own space, such as taking out the trash. Teach them how to be accountable for their job in the house, and reward them accordingly.

5. Mentor Your Child

Effective parenting is essentially great mentoring. Engage in "Take your child to work day" and other types of events. This will demonstrate how hard work can be rewarded. Teach your child how taking responsibility can pay off. Let them have a paper route, babysit or mow lawns. Demonstrate how being involved in their community is key to being a good person.

6. Become Involved in Your Community

By getting involved in your own community, you can show your own child how positive social activity can be effective and inspiring. This experience will teach your child about understanding and tolerance, and demonstrate how changing the life of another person can be so rewarding.

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