Parents are essential role models for their children. They follow our behaviour and learn by our examples, whether it’s the way we talk to strangers or the proper manners at the dinner table.
That’s why it’s important that when we teach our children not to do something, we must show that we do not participate in such “bad behaviours” as well, such as using your phone at the dinner table or using your tablet well past midnight even though you have work tomorrow.
When parents don’t follow through and practice what they preach, it can come off as hypocritical, especially for older children whose puberty period can make them more rebellious against authority figures. The bond between you and your children should not be any different from any important relationships you value in your life, and it’s therefore essential that you maintain that trust in that relationship. Remember: trust takes a long time to build, but it can be easily broken in a second.
And this goes beyond the use of electronics as well. Simple bad behaviours like snacking before dinner or turning on the TV too loud in a HDB at night can have bad influences on your children, making them think that “If our parents can do that, why can’t I?” Even if they do obey you now, it might lead them to similar bad behaviours when they become parents. It might even affect their children and grandchildren’s nurturing as well. The sins of the father passed on for generations.
Nobody said that being a parent would be easy, but now that you are, you hold a responsibility. It might be problematic leaving your phones off when you have an important meeting tomorrow that your boss might contact you about tonight, but in the presence of your children, it’s important to keep in mind the kind of signals you are sending with your actions.