One of the most important ways you can influence your child’s behavior when it comes to alcohol and other drug use is to model the behavior you want from them. Your child is watching and listening to you. They know when your actions align with your words and when they don’t.
A parent as a positive role model will have more positive effects on a child than any other variable. To be a positive role model it is important that you not only talk the talk but walk the walk. You must do what you want them to do by first imitating it yourself.
There are many ways our actions as parents can have a positive influence on our children. When it comes to reducing your child’s chances for participating in risky behaviors, the following behaviors are critical for you to model: Be involved in positive activities. It’s easy in today’s busy world to say "no thank you" to opportunities for being involved in our community, church, or school. Taking the time to be involved in positive activities shows your child how important being involved is no matter how busy they might be. Find positive activities you can do together with your child. Kids who are involved in positive activities are less likely to become involved in risky behaviors.
Encourage positive and open communication.
Make positive choices. The choices you make not only impact you but also your child. Someday, they may be in the same predicament and think to themselves, "What did mom or dad do when they were in this same situation?" When you are a role model it’s not enough to tell your child what the best choices are to make. You must show them how to make the best choices.
Set an example about alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.
Bottom line is... If you plan to be a good parent and raise good kids you must be their positive role model. I’m sure this isn’t the first time that you have heard it. But, are you doing what it takes to make it happen? Your child is looking for you to be their role model and hero. Be the hero that they expect and deserve you to be. Talk the talk, but most importantly, walk the walk.
RESOURCE: Kathleen Nelsen-Simley with Tanglewood Research, Inc.
How much and how often you use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs is related to how much and how often your child is likely to use. Give serious thought to whether your behavior could be having a positive or negative influence on your child. Be willing to change or seek help if needed.Kids who have good communication with their parents have a better chance of avoiding risky behaviors. Good communication isn’t something that just happens in families; parents make it happen. Modeling good listening skills, speaking with encouragement and respect, and sharing your feelings shows your child how to positively communicate with you and others.