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Education begins with discipline at home. We need to help our children learn before the world gets a hold of them.

Children need to be taught always to show deep respect for their elders, to be obedient and unquestioning towards authority. Children must not interrupt adults engaged in conversation or call adults by their name. Respect is demonstrated by their behavior and the language they use with elders. The only sure fire way to avoid our children from inheriting unacceptable characteristics form the outside world, is to close them off from any contact with it. Of course, this in not an appropriate course of action.

Discipline is best taught in subtle ways, through common values. Parents are traditionally the authority figures that are seen as making the roles for their children; both must equally enforce the rules. Discipline should be, but is not reinforced by the whole community. The norms of good behavior are traditionally very clear. A child protects family pride by trying to behave well. Self-identity is regarded as based on strong group identity and goes from the group to the individual rather than the other way around.

Within traditional cultures, child rearing practices are based on a culturally bound understanding of what children need and what they are expected to become. The practices and beliefs surrounding pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood development are passed on from one generation to another. When societies are more or less isolated from one another and outside influences are limited, what one generation passes on is similar to the way the next generation raises its children, and there is a relative stability of values, practices, and beliefs.

Be a Role Model

Children learn by observing and imitating the behavior of others. And children in their pre-teens learn most from their parents. Below is a list that will give you useful tips about being a positive role model for your children.

10 Ways to Be a Great Role Model

Remember -- you are your children's most important example. They learn by observing you, even when you don't know it. If this sounds a bit daunting, don't worry. Here are 10 ways to be a great role model, and chances are you're already doing many of them.

1. Share your values with your children.

Don't assume your children know your family's values about drug use and other subjects -- talk about these topics often. Offer guidance to teach your children other important values such as being honest, reliable and responsible.

2. Demonstrate your own sense of self-respect and self-esteem.

Take good care of yourself by following a healthful diet, exercising regularly and making time for relaxation. You'll provide valuable behaviors for your children to imitate (and you'll feel better, too!).

3. Show that you value your independence.

Let your children know -- by your words and your actions -- that you don't have to "follow the crowd" but prefer to make your own decisions.

4. Set a good example when using medications.

Be cautious about how you use prescription drugs and even over-the-counter medicines. Show that you can deal with mild pain or tension without turning to medications. Instruct your child never to take any medication without your permission.

5. If you drink alcohol, demonstrate responsibility.

Use alcohol in moderation and avoid using excuses for drinking, like having a rough day. How you use alcohol will influence your children, and they will tend to have the same drinking habits you do when they grow up. Never allow children to mix drinks or serve them to guests, and never serve alcohol to children, not even beer or wine.

6. Set a good example for dealing with stress.

If you have stress or conflict in your life, talk about it honestly with your children. They need to know that such struggles are a natural and normal part of life. It's how you deal with these struggles that's important.

7. Share your successes -- and failures -- with your children.

Perhaps you're trying to lose weight, quit smoking or adopt a healthier lifestyle. When you're making an effort to change your own behavior, talk about it openly with your children. It's OK to let them know when you've failed or fallen short of a goal -- and it may make it easier for them to tell you when they've made a mistake. You're also conveying an important message: change isn't easy and mistakes are opportunities for learning.

8. Show that you love and value each member of your family.

Let your children know that spending time together is something you look forward to. Make plans ahead of time to do special things such as going to a movie or museum. Also enjoy spur-of-the-moment activities -- going out for ice cream or taking a walk after a rainstorm.

9. Discuss how the media portray alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

Talk with your children about images and messages conveyed by television, music, movies, billboards and other media that glamorize alcohol and other drugs. Let them know what you think and guide them in recognizing the other side of what appears to be glamorous.

10. Take a genuine interest in your children's school and your community.

Support school and community programs that benefit children. Give your time as a volunteer. Attend functions to show your children you're interested in their activities. When your time is limited, make an effort to keep in touch with other parents to share ideas about how adults can set good examples for our children.

And above all...

Remember that there is no such thing as a PERFECT parent. From time to time mistakes will be made. Just remember that there are places to call for advice if need be.