Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Parental Responsibility - Be a Great Role Model

I’ve noticed that our two year old daughter is developing life skills by watching and copying what we do and say. She imitates many things that we do – including words, actions, and expressions. At times, she mimics sophisticated or subtle actions which she does not yet understand. Since she will copy both “good” and “bad” behavior, I need to watch my actions, words and tone more carefully nowadays.

On the positive side, I have concluded this is a great opportunity to be an excellent role model for what I want my daughter to learn. She is much better at copying my behaviors than doing what I ask of her:-)

For personal finances, here are a few of the behaviors I will model and the outcome I hope will happen:

  • Buy only what we need, and she will learn to be frugal.

  • Bank 20% of our income, and she will learn to save.

  • Be a good steward of our wealth, and she will learn to be successful at personal finance.

  • Since I am not a child psychologist, I don’t know for sure if this will work. But based on several other experiences we’ve had, I believe there is a good chance for success. I promise to report back on our results in My Wealth Builder 16 years from now:-) Photo Credit:, Anita Patterson Peppers

    This is not financial or parenting advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2006 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


    Anonymous said...

    Well said ! Kudos to you

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with your approach and your choices, my husband and I have the same hopes for our four children. The only thing I could add would be to be open about why you are doing what you do. I don't mean preach at your children, but to explain why you do what you do. I've never agreed with the "do it this way because I say so" approach, children are curious and want to know why. I've always found talking to them as adults as much as possible increases our abilities to communicate and share information. I enjoyed visiting your blog thanks for a good post.

    Super Saver said...

    Money Monk,

    Thanks for the comment.


    Thanks for the comment and excellent point.

    When I "teach" our daughter, I explain why we do something. I had not been actively explaining when she was copying us. However, your point makes sense to me - to explain also when she mimics my behavior. She is now getting the "full story" even when she is imitating us. Thanks again for the coaching tip.

    Anonymous said...

    Although I am only a teacher & mother, not a child psychologist, I can tell you some development patterns that will happen as your children grow that will make this a little more complex.

    Children under 3 do learn by copying adults around them. However, a little later, they start to differentiate themselves and apply patterns even to irregular events. So, a child who has been saying "children" and "I am" my suddenly start to say "childs" and "I is" to try any make language fit its regular pattern. The same is true for behaviour. This is when they begin to need explanations for why you do what you do.

    As a teenager, finances will become an issue, no matter what you project. Teens want to try out their own morality, lifestyles and choices. They will need room to experiment. Your behaviour will influence them in terms of the limits you set in terms of how much pocket money, what their responsibilities will be in terms of purchasing new clothes for themselves, etc.

    I have no doubt that children learn from their parents in many, many ways and that your own consistent behaviour will help them. But, when your child differentiates from you in terms of spending, or any other hot topic, it's not a tragedy, it's them becomeing themselves.

    Holly Schwendiman said...

    Awareness is so important. I love the way our children hold a mirror up for us to see. It's such a great way to evaluate what we're doing, what we want to do and the mirror we want them to mimmick. ;o)

    Holly's Corner
    Here via the carnvial of family life. ;o)

    Super Saver said...

    Thanks for your comment and additional insights. Although I am a new parent, I agree with your points on the change in learning styles as a child goes through different stages. I expect that I will relearn parenting at each of those stages:-) Hopefully, the experience will keep me young versus turning me gray:-) Thanks again for the coaching tip.

    Thanks for your comment and mirror analogy. It’s a great analogy. If I can help it, I would like the reflection to be a good one :-)