The power of small things done consistently is real and needs to be applied to all areas of our lives, especially as a parent.
Parenting is a long game. It’s very easy to get distracted by the dramatic ups and downs of daily behavior and moods when the longer term trends are what really matter. We aim to instill character traits we hope our children have when they’re adults. Our actions today should reflect what we hope those traits are in the future.
Therefore as parents, we should focus on what we can control now, which are our actions.
These actions are organized into three categories: actions we do that we hope they emulate, activities we do with our children, and feedback we give them to encourage and discourage certain behavior.
As a parent, teaching the power of small things done consistently starts by leading by example.
Leading by example as a parent should include:
- Eating healthy
- Minimizing screen time
- Using manners
- Saving money
- Delaying gratification
- Practicing gratitude
- Getting enough sleep
For example, if my children see me regularly eating lots of fruits and vegetables, getting exercise, and minimizing the amount of junk food then they’ll probably see my body composition improve as a result. The practice of modeling good behavior to our children is arguably the most important long-term commitment to being a parent. The phrase “Do I say, not as I do” has significant limitations as a parent and should be used only as needed.
Also, there are activities that we can do with our children that are good for all who are involved:
- Showing up and being present
- Read to them
- Cook healthy food with and for them
- Play with them
- Explore something new with them
For example, learning to read doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a lifelong process. I still find tips and tricks to improve my reading speed and comprehension.
Lastly, giving them regular, consistent feedback is also a huge responsibility we have as parents. This feedback should include:
- Praise them for good behavior
- Saying “I Love You”
- Telling them no
- Being honest
- Tell them you’re proud of them