In my first post of this three post series on modeling, I touched on the important role that adult modeling plays in learning. We know that children learn by watching how we handle different situations (no pressure) and ideally, we would model the best behaviors all of the time. Since that’s totally unrealistic, the next best thing we can do is at least make an effort to be aware of our actions and words. Having this awareness is possible and makes us accountable to ourselves and to our children. In my second post of this series, I share an activity that I created when thinking of what I model to children, how I do it and what I consciously want children to learn from me. The activity prompts us to take a moment to actively reflect on what qualities we hope for our children to have and how we are modeling those qualities to them.
How Do We Model Awesomeness?
Modeling awesomeness means modeling those actions and words that you would be proud of because simply put they are awesome. Awesomeness to you may be modeling kindness or compassion or generosity or productivity. We all have different ideas of what we consider awesome qualities to be and those qualities that we wish for in our children.
I’ve shared a simple activity below to help you reflect on what awesomeness means to you and how you model it. I have included an example as well as some tips from my own experience with the activity. I recommend sharing this activity with your partner and asking him/her to do this activity separately of you. You can share your ideas after you have both completed the activity.
Write out a list of awesome qualities and traits that you want for your family as a whole.
Example: I want my family to be positive, physically and emotionally healthy, compassionate, and proactive in pursuing our hobbies and interests.
Choose one quality and write out what you are doing to encourage this quality in the life of your family.
Example: How am I encouraging my family to be physically and emotionally healthy?
I prepare healthy meals and snacks for my family.
We make sure to spend time being active outdoors either going to the park, on a walk or getting out to the beach.
We say grace at dinnertime and share what we are thankful for.
Now write out, what else you can do to encourage this quality in your family.
Example: I can add the following to our routine to encourage my family to be physically and emotionally healthy.
I can involve my children in mealtime preparation so that we learn about preparing healthy meals together.
We can go to a local farm on a “family day,” see where our food comes from, and bring home fresh veggies and fruits to enjoy.
We can speak about the happy parts of our day and the so-so or sad parts of our day as a family at dinnertime.
Pick one change you are going to implement with the help of your family starting this week.
Example: We are going to make the following change as a family starting this week:
I will involve my children in mealtime preparation so that we learn about preparing healthy meals together.
You can involve your partner by asking him/her to create his/her own list of traits and qualities and then share what you each wrote for Steps 2-3. I strongly recommend doing this activity separately of each other and then discussing your ideas.
You can repeat Steps 2-3 as many times as you like with the different qualities and traits that you wish for your children and family.
Feel free to write out as many ideas as you can for Step 2 and Step 3. Get them all down on paper and then pick 1 idea to start with.
Acknowledge all the awesomeness that you are already modeling to your children and family and know there is always room to grow.
So with this big responsibility of having children, comes the big responsibility that we have a lot to do with the people they are when they are little. Let’s take on that responsibility by modeling all the awesomeness we want for our children. In my final post of the series, I’ll share some of what I have learned in my own journey of modeling language and behavior. I’d love to hear from you and how you enjoyed the activity.
Keep well, S