Parents as Role Models that are Internalized by Children

October 15th, 2013

If your child is met with respect, encouragement and compassion, they develop encouragement and compassion towards others and, eventually, this becomes internalized and they treat themselves with respect, encouragement and self-compassion. If your child is met with criticality, punishment, and judgment, then eventually they treat others and themselves with harshness.  Limits that are set on the outside by you eventually become internalized on the inside by your child. Whether we choose to bring compassion and mutual problem-solving to a discipline situation or whether we bring inflexibility and anger to a discipline situation is providing important instruction to our child on how to approach challenging situations.

So many of our parenting words and techniques are the same as the parenting words and techniques of our parents. The power of modeling cannot be underestimated. Our parents provided a road map for our own parenting and, like it or not, that is the go-to map that we often use. It takes a great deal of thought and effort to approach parenting situations—especially discipline situations—differently from our parents.

When you use specific discipline techniques, you are modeling how your child will approach challenging situations and how your child will view themself, as well as modeling how your child will eventually parent. You and your discipline techniques are important teachers on many levels.

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