The accidental good parent
Do these things and your kids will follow. Probably.
(Getty Images)
I have never really noticed how children copy the habits of their parents until a few weeks ago. I had my children in the car with me and we went to go and pick up a friend of mine. My friend got in the passenger seat and as I started driving, my daughter started shouting at my friend and crying until my friend put her seat belt on. My daughter is 2.

This got me thinking about all the habits my children have that they pick up from me and my hubby. Without even realising it, I have instilled some great habits for my kids. These are things that I am not going to need to use the naughty chair to enforce (shjoe!). Do them and your kids will follow, probably.
  1. Always put your seatbelt on. Not only is it a legal requirement, but it helps your children to understand that they need to wear one too. It’s difficult to explain to a toddler why they need to wear a seatbelt if you don’t wear one yourself.
  2. Keep a fruitbowl. Reach for an apple instead of a biscuit for your next snack -- your children will be more inclined to snack healthier if their parents do. It’s good for you and looks great on the kitchen table.
  3. Pack things away. Once you are finished using something, put it back in its place. Your kids will start doing this with their toys.
  4. Be polite. To your kids, to your partner, to your mum-in-law, to everyone. It’s the best way to teach your child good manners. Manners are a difficult thing to explain to a toddler so learning by example is the best way to get the habit entrenched. Once they are older they will develop more of an understanding as to why they need to be well mannered.
  5. Read a book or even a magazine instead of switching on the TV next time you need to wind down. You can always watch TV after the kids have gone to sleep. Your child will learn to entertain himself with books instead of TV and the games console. Not only can you have a better control as to what your child is taking in, books are wonderful for developing young minds and imagination.
  6. Wash your hands. Before you start preparing food, after you go to the loo, before you eat. Children get very dirty. Those little hands explore corners of your house you didn’t even know existed. Encouraging personal hygiene without it having to be a chore will only help with ensuring they don’t ingest any nasties or get sick but will also make their food taste a lot better without the dead spider and ball of lint!
Do you agree with these? What other non-negotiable good examples are there?

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