Your role as a role model to your children

Never underestimate the power of your own behaviour, advises Chief Happiness Expert Dr Tim Sharp.

One of the biggest mistakes we can make as parents is to believe that we can “talk” our children into doing the “right” things, while doing something different ourselves.

If you’ve ever said to your children, “Do as I say, not as I do” then this in itself is part of the problem.

Telling our children that “smoking kills” while puffing away on a cigarette; trying to scare our children about the consequences of drugs and alcohol while consuming several drinks every night; or watching TV for hours every evening then telling our kids they should exercise more are all problems.

So what is the core issue here?

We’re sending inconsistent messages to our children. And when our children receive incongruent messages, our actions end up speaking much louder than our words. Our children will do as we do, not as we say.

What then is the solution? Live the life you’d like your children to live and accept that we don’t need to be perfect. Embrace “good enough” parenting and make desirable behaviours as easy as possible – and fun! If something is fun our kids will be much more likely to do it.

Catch up on the full episode of The House of Wellness TV show to see more expert health advice from Zoe, Ed, and the team.