The most effective way to educate your little one in the ways of the world is to model the behaviour you want, yourself…

Be the next top model

Being a parent is probably one of the hardest tasks you will undertake in your life. Not only are you responsible for your offspring’s well-being in general, but it’s also your duty to raise them into happy, emotionally healthy and well-adjusted individuals whom people enjoy being around.

Many parents want only the best for their little ones, often hoping that their children will grow up to become better versions of themselves. But this can’t be done by just preaching “positive ways” to them, you have to practise them yourself. Your tyke is paying attention to everything you say and do, so here are some ways to be a shining example to him — and your kid might end up moulding you into a better person!


Nobody is asking you to be perfect, but since children learn through imitation, know that they are observing and practising everything you say and do. This means curbing your anger before it escalates, telling the truth at every situation (and avoiding white lies) and being kind to everyone — including the janitor, helper and cleaner auntie at the coffee shop — regardless of their race, religion or background.


You can’t expect your kewpie to finish up his broccoli if you turn up your nose at it. Similarly, you can’t stop him from drinking sodas if that’s all you slug back. “Set an example by eating foods that you want your toddler to eat,” says Dr Wendy Sinnathamby, a paediatrics specialist at Raffles Children’s Centre. “Children learn to like foods by trying them, but will often only try new foods that they see other people eating.” You can also start family rituals such as early evening walks during the week and bike riding at the park on the weekends to instil a love for nature and make being active a way of life.

Refrain from saying things like “It’s just money” or overspend to “save face” with family and friends.


There’s nothing more off-putting than a person who is frivolous with his money and enjoys boasting about it. Start from a young age to teach your tyke the value of money and how not to spend it carelessly or fill a self-esteem void. Refrain from saying things like “It’s just money” or overspend to “save face” with family and friends. Exposing your little ones to helping out at charities and those who are less fortunate will also teach them compassion and generosity. Says mum Rachel D’Cruz, “When I had my children I decided that every year on their birthday we would celebrate with a party and also help out at a charity of their choice. It could range from donating their gifts, some money or physical help. I would also join in with my kids to set a good example.”


Show your sweetie what true loyalty is by showing up for your friends and family when they are in need. This also goes to sticking with a shop or business owner you have frequented for many years instead of hopping over to a cheaper alternative. When your young ’un sees you not flaking out, it will instil in him the need to be a stand-up guy that everyone can trust and depend on.

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