Parents often take on many roles: teacher, motivator, entertainer, cleaner; each role diverse to the others. But in the 4 years that I have been a parent, I have discovered that only one role has been, by far, the most important. And that is my responsibility to be a good role model.
People often believe that only what a parent directly says or does to their child, plays a contributing factor. But that is simply not true. Children learn by example, they learn through “modelling” their parents’ behaviour. If a child is told to respect others but sees their parents doing otherwise, they will struggle to adhere to their mother’s or father’s wishes. Similarly, if a parent has the purpose of getting their child to eat healthy but has trouble looking after themselves, their intentions will fail.
That is why for me, I feel it is so important to be a good role model for your children, especially when it comes to your health. Ever since I experienced a horrible bout of gastroenteritis, I swore that I would always look after myself. I have since lost 20kg, rarely eat fast food, and I am feeling the best that I have ever felt. My family and I even play Badminton every week, in order to maintain our fitness and show our children how important it is to lead a healthy lifestyle.
In addition, my husband and I visited the dentist last week, because we felt we had a responsibility to our children. Our 3 daughters are counting on us to look after them, provide them with a future, and hopefully spend as much time with us as they possibly can. In order for that to happen, we must look after yourselves and give our children the life that they deserve.
Although some may argue that life is too short to “count calories”, I say life is too short not to live it wisely. Yes, it’s perfectly fine to have that ‘chocolate bar’ once in a while, but to have it too often is not maximising the time that you have with your children. Be a good role model and teach them good values, good behaviours and good eating habits. Through the good behaviour that you model, you are giving your children the best start in life. And the difference you’ve made will be clear when you see the person that they later become.
Thuy Le (formerly known as Thuy Yau) is a freelance writer and Youth Work graduate living in Perth, Australia. She loves to share her own personal experiences about overcoming adversity, as she believes that human beings are more capable than they realise. She writes to make a positive difference in the world and to inspire others to learn from themselves and their own experiences. Her writing has been discussed on radio, won writing contests, appeared on The Huffington Post UK and major Australian sites such as news.com.au, SMH, Kidspot and Essential Kids. She is currently writing her first book.