Do As I Say, Not As I Do

By Terrie Tyrie, LCPC, Relationship Repair Associate

As parents we want our children to only pick up our good habits not our flawed habits. We want them to pick up our love of salads but not our sweet tooth.

One of the points I always stress in my parenting workshops is model the behavior you want from your child.

I see parents sitting with their families in restaurants checking their phones and not paying attention to their eight years old. What message is this giving their child about how important they are to the parent right now?

What happens five years later when the parent is trying to connect with their 13 years old over dinner and the teen gets a text? The teen will take out their phone to answer their friend and as a parent you will be the one that feels unimportant. Many parents then get angry at their teen for not showing them respect and take the teen’s phone away, when the parent is the one who should be punished for modeling the undesirable behavior.

As a parent we need to stop and be mindful of whether our actions are going to properly demonstrate how we want our child to behave as they become older. Try to imagine your child’s perspective of your actions and what it is saying to them. Your child needs you to be the model of behavior you want them to incorporate into who they are as an adult.

Many clients come into my office who are parents and want to reduce their anxiety.  I commend them for wanting to model to their children good mental health and self-care.

If you are unable to make the changes necessary to model good behaviors for your children, then I encourage you to get the help you need to make the change for them.  Please Contact one of our Relationship Repair Associates today for help with concerns you are having in your relationships with your child or teenager.





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