10 Important Character Traits Parents Pass-on To Their Children
The first school, the first teacher, the first book for any child are - Parents! The children are always watching what you do, always. The observation power of children and teens is astonishing, and even if they are not watching, being in the role model mode is essential for instilling life lessons or good moral characters in them.
Your actions leave a profound and life-long impact on the gentle minds of your little ones. Hence behaving and reacting in the same way we expect them to reciprocate is the only way to let them soak in all the character-building attributes. Habits and character development starts from a very young age and goes a long way through the teenage.
Here are 10 life lessons or character traits that children subconsciously learn by observing their parents.
1. Honesty - The children have blind trust in their parents. They believe them with closed eyes. So being honest with them and with others as well is necessary to teach this attribute. Fear of the consequences induces lying in both elders and children, hence punishing children for lying promotes dishonesty. Teach them to show the courage of owning up to mistakes by doing the same when you stand in the same situation.
2. Love and Compassion - Every parent wants their kids to be kind to others. The best way to make it a reality is to be the role model for kindness and empathy towards every living being. The kids observe their primary caregiver from the time they can see clearly. The way they see you treating other family members, house help, strangers, waiters at the restaurant, they absorb everything. It gradually moulds their subconscious mind to treat others with love and show compassion towards all fellow beings, even animals.
3. Hard Work - Setting an example to work hard and attain goals on their own is an important lesson for children to be content and successful in life. Start the appropriate lessons as per their age by Teaching them to do their own tasks like washing their plate, cleaning their bed, getting groceries, making school projects prepares them to do their own work to reap the benefits. Reward your child when they do something extraordinary to make them understand the worth and satisfaction of fruitful hard work. They need to learn that it is hard work that finally pays off.
4. Healthy Lifestyle - To manage the ever-increasing performance stress, the children need to learn the importance of good health. When you exercise, make sure to incorporate a healthy lifestyle by eating on time, avoiding too much junk food. It is only then you can motivate your children to follow the same. It does not mean to be overbearing and refrain the children from occasional treats, but teach them to indulge in moderation. The reason to adopt healthy habits should be reasoned with the betterment of health and not body image issues and shaming.
5. Courage - Standing up for what you believe in and make a comeback when you fall down is courage. And to make your children strong individuals who rely on their inner strengths is your responsibility. They will always look up to you for inspiration when they face a setback in life, and they will always remember how you held yourself together and faced dire situations. Accepting mistakes and learning from them is also a way of showing courage. If the kids never see you owning up to mistakes, how will they gain confidence to accept theirs'?
6. Confidence - Letting your child make their decisions is the best way to boost their confidence. Being too controlling or demanding affects their confidence when they have to make their own decisions in future. Confident kids perform better in real life as they are strong-minded and determined.
7. Integrity - "People with good intentions make promises, but people with good character keep them." Integrity is one of the most important character qualities every successful person has. The whole concept of instilling all the qualities mentioned in this blog is based on integrity. The children will do what they see. If you preach otherwise, you cannot expect the kids to follow only verbal instructions and teachings. The lesson of integrity starts with parents doing what they preach. It is simple, if you lie to someone in front of them, they will not learn honesty.
8. Time Management - An attribute we don't specifically show or teach but becomes a habit for life! The secret of every successful person is making the best out of the 24 hours available. Being on time is considered the most important attribute when looking to cast the first impression. Inculcate the habit of being on time by getting yourself ready for your work without rushing (atleast on most days), or reach social events at the appropriate time, completing schoolwork before the deadline. Time management also helps to develop a calm mindset and patience.
9. Respecting boundaries - Respecting personal space and independence is a characteristic that wasn't given importance by previous generations. It is highly significant to teach the kids that it is okay to say no when you don't want to do something, agree to disagree, and have an opinion different from others. This lesson begins with parents treating the kids with respect, giving them age-appropriate space, not forcing personal opinions on them, and humbly accepting when they disagree with you on any matter.
10. Self Love - All the positive character lessons can actually work when the child is taught self-love. When the child looks up to the parents, he sees them as his role model, adopting self-love and caring for oneself becomes indispensable. Self-love induces the thought process for improving oneself with good habits to make oneself better in life. The kids should see their parents taking care of themselves, especially mothers, who lose their individual identity as a human, as a woman, while bringing up their children. When children observe their parents doing their bit of self-care it settles in their conscious mind. It helps to define boundaries and that every person's physical and mental health matters.
Being a role model is not easy. There are times when following the above attributes in life is not possible for adults due to many reasons and situations. But such situational non-compliance is a different lesson altogether, that children will learn with experience when they grow up.
Parents are the role-model and pass on the virtues knowingly or unknowingly, and their behaviour is observed like a student in the examination hall. Remember, every painful, emotional or embarrassing encounter you face while teaching these life lessons or character traits to the children will forever stay in their conscious minds and shape their true personalities.
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