Topic 1 A Role Model for Your Child

Introduction

The responsibility of being a parent!

Parents are the most important people in a child’s life. The relationship between parents and child begins at birth and is very important for the development of the child. The child looks into the eyes of the parents and so grows up and it is very important what these eyes show him – whether that he is liked, accepted, loved or that he is not wanted. If the parents are caring, responsive and love the child, then the child grows up peaceful and happy.

Many people dream and plan from childhood how they will become parents. Everyone has a memory of little girls playing with dolls- feeding them, changing them, dressing them. Yet, who or from where do we learn to parent? Very often we repeat what we have observed as a pattern from our parents. Like their model or not we follow it too.

There are times in every parent’s life when the behaviour of a beloved child goes to a dead end. And perhaps the adults themselves, using extreme methods of parenting, do things they are later ashamed of. You are not alone in your mistakes, all parents make mistakes from time to time. But it’s always better to learn from others’ mistakes, isn’t it?

Role-playing game - "Mirrors"

The game can be played by parents and children, by siblings, all family members.

Players stand in a line facing each other, in silence. Player A is the model and player B is the mirror. A makes a slow, careful movement and B copies it at the same time. B has to concentrate to try to anticipate A’s movements and be a true mirror, not just a slow motion reflection. A has to make sure B can follow him. The movements should not be too complicated to begin with. It is important to find good non-verbal communication. Switch roles.

Remind players that they need cooperation. There will be laughter at first, but sooner or later the pairs will concentrate and cooperate to make the activity more interesting. The more harmony there is between the players, the more complex the gestures can be. The leader can give further instructions and ask them to  tell a story with movements. To emphasise cooperation and adaptability, it is recommended to vary the pairs.

Children are like a mirror of their parents. Just as you played the game above, and our children were a reflection of our physical actions, so we are the most important and first role model of behaviour for our children that they follow unapologetically. We as parents are responsible to our children, and not just by the opportunities we give them to to grow up happy without missing a thing, but by the example we set for them every day of their existence. Children are a white sheet of paper on which we paint with the colors of our actions, our love and care for them. It is up to us to paint on this white and “naive” piece of paper the masterpiece called “a worthy, successful and happy person”. Our lifestyle, stress, diet, exercise are factors that modulate our genes and their work, and seriously affect our health and that ofour children.

Parents need to be aware of this and understand it so that their actions can give their children a better chance for successful development.

                   

You are a single parent of a 10 year old, you have a busy work week, you get home late at night and all you want to do is go home, light a cigarette and relax. However, your child cannot tolerate cigarette smoke and you often get into arguments about it. Your child says loudly, “You are no parent, you are only pretending to be one, I am tired of you ignoring me, and I will not do it anymore.”

In practice, your child is exposed to passive smoking. Let’s take a look at the impact of passive smoking on our children and some tips on what we as parents can do to replace cigarettes to set a good example for our children.