Despite what people always say, it doesn’t always take a village to raise a child. Your actions alone have a huge impact on your baby. It doesn’t matter what you try to preach to your child, he will always pay attention to your actions more than your words.
Children – even babies – are like sponges. They spend their formative years imitating you, which includes picking up your subtle habits and mannerisms, so it’s important to set a good example to your child. Don’t just tell them to be nice to people – you have to demonstrate it. Actions speak louder than words, after all. Practice what you preach and be kind to others; it’s the only way to instill that habit into your child because he’s always watching and imitating you.
This practice doesn’t only apply to obvious behaviors; your child can certainly pick up a lot of subtle cues from you without you even realizing it. Your habits affect your baby’s future behavior a lot more than you think. Check out the following list of 4 things you should or shouldn’t do around your baby in order to raise a well-adjusted child.
DON’T: Fly Off the Handle when you’re Frustrated
Even if you’re super careful not to lose your temper towards your kid, you’re still doing your kid a disservice if you let her watch you snap at others. If your kid is constantly exposed to your outbursts of anger, chronic impatience and irritation, and shows of disgust, your kid will learn to react the same way in stressful situations. It can deeply affect your kid’s relationships with other people in the future. Did you know that infants with mothers who outwardly show anger and aggression are much more likely to turn into bullies?
Instead of flying off the handle, try to suppress your anger and react calmly and politely. For example, if you’re in a traffic jam with your child sitting in the front seat, don’t honk your horn and curse. Instead, play a game with your kid. Ask her how many out-of-state license plates she could find. It will teach her to defuse the tension building up inside her by finding the good in everything.
DO: Ask Questions
If you’re an inherently curious person, don’t be afraid to show it to your kid! If you enjoy learning about different things, you’re instilling the love of learning into your child. Aside from reading, taking classes, and exploring, the best thing you can do is to ask a lot of questions. If you visit a home improvement store and want to know the difference between satin and gloss paint, ask away! If you visit a museum and want to know more about dinosaurs, don’t be afraid to ask the tour guide to elaborate! If you want to know more about an incredible deal on a travel website, go ahead and call them up with questions! Your child will grow up hearing you ask a lot of questions, and he will be likely to become curious himself. His love of learning will help him build relationships with people and expand his knowledge in the future.
DON’T: Constantly Coddle your Baby
If you respond to every demand your baby makes, she will not learn to be independent. If your baby cries for no reason, don’t pick her up and soothe her to sleep. Instead, as much as it may pain you, let her cry herself to sleep. Constantly coddling your baby will teach her helplessness, which can be detrimental to her future behavior and relationships with other people. Also, your baby will need to get used to time periods when you are not around. Your baby does not have to know you are in the room next door. To keep yourself sane, you need time for yourself. You need to pamper yourself. Take a bath, put some makeup on, get your hair done, wear clothes that do not have baby puke on. You need to keep yourself together. Your baby will copy that.
DO: Show Discipline
Part of the reason kids procrastinate is because they learned that behavior from their parents. If you tell your kid that you’re too tired to take him to the park and you’ll make up for it tomorrow, he’ll eventually tell you that he’s too tired to do his homework and he’ll make up for it tomorrow. You have to uphold your self-discipline even when your child is not around. If he sees you mowing the lawn every Saturday morning at 9:00 sharp, he will start to adopt the same behavior. Showing discipline will help your child excel in school and keep his promises to others.