Leading by Example: Modeling Positive Behaviors

Every parent aspires for their child to grow into a responsible, kind, and successful individual. We teach them right from wrong, impart valuable life lessons, and encourage them to chase their dreams. However, one of the most effective ways to shape your children’s behavior is through your actions. Modeling behavior is a potent tool in promoting your child’s development.

Why Modeling Works

Children are keen observers and often mimic the attitudes and actions they witness around them. They learn more from what we do than we say, making the “do as I say, not as I do” approach ineffective. Research supports that children imitate the behaviors of role models, even when those behaviors seem meaningless or unnecessary. This can be advantageous when promoting positive habits like exercise, healthy eating, and effective study routines. However, adults must be mindful of our actions and attitudes to avoid passing undesirable habits to our children. Fortunately, the influence of modeling behavior extends into young adulthood, offering ample time to set a positive example.

Tips for Modeling Behavior for Your Children

  1. Be Mindful of Your Actions: Recognize that your children always observe and learn from you. Align your actions, words, and tone of voice with the values and behaviors you wish to see in them.
  1. Practice What You Preach: If you expect your children to exhibit certain behaviors, you must exemplify those behaviors yourself. Engage in regular exercise and make nutritious food choices if you want them to lead a healthy lifestyle.
  1. Explain the ‘Why’ and Encourage Open Discussions: Explain the importance of your modeling behaviors. For instance, demonstrate the value of kindness and community support when helping a neighbor. Create a safe space for open communication, fostering positive behaviors.
  1. Collaborate with Your Children: Involve them in activities that allow them to observe positive role modeling. Working together on a meal or a project helps them understand your approach and witness your problem-solving skills, fostering a strong work ethic.
  1. Avoid Punishing Them for Bad Habits You Model: Recognize that children naturally follow in your footsteps. Instead, build accountability as a team to develop better habits together.
  1. Surround Them with Positive Role Models: Expose your child to mentors, teachers, coaches, and family members who embody the behaviors you wish to instill. These individuals can reinforce your message.


We must first examine our own to change our students’ behavior effectively. Students emulate the attitudes and behaviors they observe in their role models. As we model the behavior we wish to see in our children, engaging in meaningful discussions about the significance of these behaviors is crucial. This approach will enhance decision-making skills and reinforce constructive behaviors, helping our students achieve their best potential.

Parenting a child who struggles with executive function can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Let Untapped help!


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