Remember — you are your children’s most important example. They learn by observing you, even when you don’t know it. If this sounds a bit daunting, don’t worry. Here are 10 ways to be a great role model, and chances are you’re already doing many of them.
Share your values with your children.
Don’t assume your children know your family’s values about drug use and other subjects — talk about these topics often. Offer guidance to teach your children other important values such as being honest, reliable and responsible.
Demonstrate your own sense of self-respect and self-esteem.
Take good care of yourself by following a healthful diet, exercising regularly and making time for relaxation. You’ll provide valuable behaviors for your children to imitate (and you’ll feel better, too!).
Show that you value your independence.
Let your children know — by your words and your actions — that you don’t have to “follow the crowd” but prefer to make your own decisions.
Set a good example when using medications.
Be cautious about how you use prescription drugs and even over-the-counter medicines. Show that you can deal with mild pain or tension without turning to medications. Instruct your child never to take any medication without your permission.
If you drink alcohol, demonstrate responsibility.
Use alcohol in moderation and avoid using excuses for drinking, like having a rough day. How you use alcohol will influence your children, and they will tend to have the same drinking habits you do when they grow up. Never allow children to mix drinks or serve them to guests, and never serve alcohol to children, not even beer or wine.