Do you think it’s important to lead your children by example? I have worked hard to set a good example for my daughter and grandchildren. I have always believed that I needed to do everything in my power to be the mother that I wanted my daughter to be to my grandchildren.
I never wanted to be the type of mother that says do as I say and not as I do. How do you teach your children when you aren’t an example of what you want them to be or do? So many things become generational. We have people who are unable to break the cycle of dysfunctional relationships, dependence on drugs, alcohol, or depending on the system in some manner. Where is it written that you are where you come from? We all come from something, but that doesn’t mean that you have to continue down that path. We all have the power to change our situation.
I believe that it is imperative to set an example for those whom I wish two inspire or lead. Here are a few things that I have learned on my journey as a mother:
- You must establish credibility – Seeing is believing. You don’t have to be perfect, but you must be honest and you must know that your children will be looking to you for guidance as well as looking at how you achieve your goals and how you provide for them.
- What makes you an authority? – Let your children know that you’ve been in their shoes or a similar situation. Tell them what you did to accomplish the goal or resolve the problem. It’s important that they know they’re not the only person experiencing a particular problem or situation and it can be overcome or the goal reached.
- Who wants to follow someone who is still struggling to get themselves together – You can’t lead with A Do As I Say and Not As I Do attitude. You should be demonstrating how to improve yourself and move forward. You can’t reprimand your children or have high expectations of them unless you’re improving your own situation and issues.
- You must be positive – Your child will respond to a positive attitude.
- You must have good decision making skills and you must be disciplined – You need to teach your children how to make decisions and how to stick with the decision.
- Show your child that you can be successful personally as well as professionally – If you’re struggling on a personal level continuously, it will be difficult to lead your children. When I was raising my daughter I talked to her about my some of my personal struggles, but I did not burden her with my financial situation. Running my household was my responsibility. I did explain the importance of holding down a job and being reliable. Children need to know how money is being brought into the home. My daughter understood that my job was how I payed the mortgage, purchased food, clothing, made the car payment and afforded her activities and our vacations. I wanted to set an example of what I expected her to do in the future. Talk about the importance of getting an education and getting promoted on your job.
- Demonstrate how to work toward financial goals – Explain the importance of saving for a rainy day and the importance of paying yourself first. Cry broke, but never be broke.
- Give your children a spiritual/religious foundation – Teach them to say their prayers and bless their food. We all need to believe in someone or something greater than ourselves.