Setting the Right Example for Your Toddler
- by Shruti Gokarn
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Toddlers are observant and inquisitive. Nothing escapes their bright, curious gaze. What’s more is that they not only observe but also pick up what they have observed, in a jiffy. All the more reasons for parents to be careful about their habits and behaviours.
If you want your child to cultivate good habits and value systems, mindful parenting is absolutely imperative. Here are some of the things you can do as mindful parents.
Restrict screen time
Gadgets have pervaded every area of our lives and no doubt they are indispensable. But do we really want to stunt the imagination of our children, not to mention expose them to rays harmful for their eyes at such a tender age? If you don’t want them to be addicted to gadgets, restrict your screen time. For example, meal times should be strictly gadget free. During playtime, play only with your little one and not with your tablet. Isn’t that a small sacrifice to make for your child’s wellbeing?
If you don’t eat your greens, you can forget about getting your child to do so. Cultivate good and healthy eating habits by including a variety of foods and nutrients in your daily meal. Make meal times family time. A family that eats greens together & stays healthy together!
Organise your stuff
Imagine your toddler as a ten-year-old. He/ she comes home, flings the school bag in one corner, shoes in one and socks in another. Not a pleasant vision, is it? Well if you don’t want it to manifest, get your young one to keep things in place. Better still lead by example and do so yourself. If they observe you keeping your bag in a fixed place, putting that cup to wash immediately, and keeping those freshly laundered clothes in the closet, they are bound to learn this behaviour. So, however tired you are at the end of the day, keep your footwear in the shoe rack!
Teach them dignity of labour
Domestic help often forms the spine of our support system. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This is an important value to be taught to our children. Address them respectfully and value their contribution to your life. For instance, if your child sees you thanking them, he/she will also learn not to take them and their work for granted.
Break Gender Stereotyping
If the mother and the father’s roles are interchangeable at home instead of being boxed in by stereotypes, it’s an early start to teaching them equality of genders. Share responsibilities so that your child grows up to be a sensitive and grounded individual.
Remember, your child is constantly observing and imitating you. So smile, you are under CCTV surveillance!