Leading by Example
The Power of Self-Care in Parenting
Parents have always served as the first, and typically, the most important role model for
their children, even though family members, teachers, and coaches have a significant
impact on a child’s development as well. However, in the wake of the pandemic, these
people have had less of a presence in children’s lives which ultimately left parents
without the additional support they typically depend on. Combined with the stressors
that have come with the pandemic, parental self-care has taken a back burner and
bad habits are being observed and learned by children.
The goal of parenting is to raise happy and healthy individuals with strong moral and
ethical views and behaviors. For this reason, parents often establish rules for their
children to follow, limit exposure to too much media, and work to instill life skills that
provide children the tools to be the best version of themselves. But often in times of
unrest, parents have difficulty modeling what they expect their children’s behaviors to
show. They instead follow the motto “do as I say, not as I do.” Unfortunately, this leads
to confusion for children and can often create frustration.
To alleviate any potential problems this confusion may present, it’s important for parents
to practice self-care. Like the airplane rule of putting the oxygen mask on yourself
before your child, parents must take care of themselves in order to be the best for their
children. To do this, parents need to preserve their mental and physical well being so
they can model healthy behaviors and better support their children during these
Much like the SKILLZ program aims to help children develop in 4D, it’s important for
parents to take care of themselves physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially.
This holistic approach to well being demonstrates healthy role modeling for children
and helps them develop beneficial behaviors and attitudes as a way of responding to
the outside world. Especially in times of uncertainty and peril, it is even more important
for parents to teach children powerful positive ways of living life through modeling.
An approach parents can take to initiate this self-care is by utilizing the Parent SKILLZ
information. When parents are attuned to their own feelings and patient with
themselves in the midst of multiple changes, it teaches their children positive coping
skills. Adapting to new routines and creating consistency then allows parents to take
care of themselves which gives them to ability connect with their children and have
more forethought in their parenting. Creating these connections will nurture the parent/child bond and prompt positive role modeling and learning.
Remember, children learn by observing so parents should lead by example. When
parents are stressed and emotionally drained, they model behaviors that are contrary
to what they intend to teach their children. And no, parents are not perfect and
mistakes will be made. However, being mindful when these things happen can create
opportunities to teach children humbleness and forgiveness which are invaluable life