Like it or not you are your child’s role model, your family is his/her blueprint for life.
We as parents have huge responsibility and it should not be taken lightly. When you have a child with additional needs you need to be more vigilant with everything you do and say.
Your children and teen are always watching what you do. They see how you handle work, home, friends and stress. They watch how you treat people and observe how you deal with your feelings and emotions. Their minds are like sponges soaking up everything from school to home. Even when you think they are not listening to you, take heed they are. Even when you are on the phone just watch how quite they become!!!
Children and people learn by watching others, their family, work colleagues, teachers and friends. One of David’s physiologist once said to me that if a child sees a person in their lives being aggressive they become aggressive in that role too and if they see a person being kind to one another they react in that way as well.
Children often also repeat what they hear, for example, David speaks really fast and speech therapists ask ME to slow down my speech so as I can lead by example (you have no idea of how many times I forget to do this). You may notice a slang word that you use from time to time and just listen I bet your child is saying the same thing.
It’s time for you not to say as you do but for you to do as you say! It’s time for you to become more aware of being your child’s role model.
Put yourself in your child’s shoes and try to see what they see and hear. Is it something you are proud of or are there small areas you could be doing better in? For example, I am always trying to get David to eat better and my normal reaction when I see him eating biscuits is to immediately tell him not to eat too many.
My new tactic is to cut up a bit of fruit and share it with him. This is a small step in the right direction for both of us and there are hundreds of areas like this that I can work on but we just take it one step at a time.
Just take a look at yourself and see what small changes you can make today as it will impact your child for a lifetime.
(Best of luck)