Parents as Role Models

An article from the book ‘Your Child is Your Parent’ by Manoj J Lekhi (Amrut Vivek).

The title says it all: parents are role models for their children. Everything that a child ‘is’ is mostly a reflection of what he has imbibed by observing his mother, father or people whom he has grown up with. 

Many parents feel that if they instill the right values in their children, the child will imbibe those effortlessly. It is not as simple as that. It will not work unless you follow it up with living by those values yourself.

Your child is not what you teach him: Your child is what you are. If you do find some anomalies or faults in your child’s behaviour and wish to change him, just look within yourself and you will be surprised to find the source of that character trait in you first.

We want the best from our children, but we don’t want to look at ourselves first. This is unfair. Everything that the child expresses and does is a cumulative product of what the parents do, and by parents I mean all those people with whom the child grows up.

You have to change yourself to effect a change in your child. If your child is constantly irritated, then look at yourself and you will find either yourself or your spouse being the same. If your child is an angry child, or is a disturbed child, just look within and you will find the same traits there. Likewise, if your child is very loving, compassionate, sharing and caring, you won’t have to look far to see from where your child imbibed those qualities. They are within you.

So, if you want to change your child, change yourself first.

Your child is a reflection of you. Your child holds up a mirror to you. He or she is constantly reminding you of how you are as a person. Notice how beautifully your child parents you.

I once heard that there was a man who did not trust anyone in the world. His child grew up in the same environment, not trusting anyone. One day, the child needed Rs. 50 urgently for his project work, so he wrote a letter to God asking for Rs. 50 and posted it at the nearest post office. The address that he wrote was ‘To God’. Naturally, the postman did not give it much thought and threw away the letter.

A week later, in his innocence, the boy again wrote a similar letter asking for Rs. 50 and posted it. The postman again ignored it. A week later, for the third time, he wrote to God, saying, “God, I really need the money”. This time the postman felt compassionate and concerned, so he somehow collected Rs. 40 from all the other postmen and knocked on the boy’s door. When the boy opened the door, he gave him an envelope, saying, “God has sent this for you”.

On opening the envelope, the boy found only Rs. 40 as against the Rs. 50 he had asked for. He again posted a letter to God, saying, “Dear God, next time around, please send me the money directly and not through the postman”.

The story clearly shows that the child did not trust the postman; this is a reflection of what he has learnt from observing his father. So, how you are is how your child is; how you will be is what your child will also be. Imbibe within yourself first the qualities that you would love your child to possess. Change yourself and see the change in your child.