The Star Malaysia - Star2

Setting a good example for kids

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THERE are many ways to live a life, as evident in the many divergent paths humans have chosen to tread down.

As children grow into adults, they start forming a world view and making decisions on what is important to them.

Could it be a nice, big house by the beach? A high-flying job that allows them to mingle with the upper echelons of society? Or could it just be the simple act of spreading happiness to others?

As parents, we have the opportunit­y to raise a caring generation – a future of people who can lift each other up rather than step on one another as they chase gold coins and sleek sports cars.

The question is, what can we do to encourage priorities that are based on a concern for others?

A crucial thing to remember about children is that they absorb informatio­n, like a sponge, from their environmen­t.

If they see that people around them are acting in a certain way, they will probably try to emulate it.

Albert Bandura, in his famous Bobo doll experiment, showed that young children observe the actions of adults and then imitate the example that has been set for them.

So does it not follow that parents should always strive to be the best version of themselves in order to inspire children to do the same?

Let your child see you do good deeds. Let him or her see and hear about the suffering of others, and how charity – even if it seems small – can make a positive difference in their lives.

Take your child with you to do voluntary work. Even doing something as simple as holding the door open for people in public or letting someone with fewer items go in front of you at the supermarke­t queue can teach your child important values.

Show them that fulfilment does not have to come from material things, and that putting a smile on another person’s face can often bring you the greatest joy.

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