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Children learn to imitate at a very young age. It’s how they learn to behave, care for themselves, develop new skills and communicate with others. From their earliest moments, they watch you closely and pattern their own behaviors and beliefs after yours. Your examples become permanent images that will shape their attitudes and actions for the rest of their lives.
It is important to be responsible, consistent and loving with your child. This also holds true for the relationships you have with your spouse, your parents and other family members and friends that are also a part of your child’s life. This will eventually shape how they treat others and how they allow themselves to be treated by others.
Own up to your mistakes when you make them and communicate openly and honestly with everyone in your life, even your child. This will teach them respect and honesty toward others.
It is also crucial to take good care of yourself. When we are focusing on what is best for our child it is easy to neglect our own needs. Your child and your family are relying on you physically and emotionally, so it is important that you teach your child, by example, that taking care of yourself helps you to take care of them. This shows your child that not only do you love them but you love yourself as well. This will teach your child about self-esteem.
Maintaining a social life apart from your child will show your child that you are your own person, an individual, with your own interests and needs. They will see the benefit of having a strong sense of self. Also, spending time apart will not only demonstrate independence but help them to develop it as well.
Always let your child see you communicate in a positive and healthy manner with your partner or spouse by showing love, affection and respect for one another. This will build a foundation on which your child can eventually create their own strong and healthy relationship with someone else.
Even if your little one is still in the baby phase, you will soon see him patterning many of his behaviors after your own. What begins as simple imitation of a smile or expression will soon become larger behaviors that will affect interpersonal relationships. Make sure that what you say and do around your child will help build a strong sense of security and self-esteem.
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