teaching your child

Teaching Your Child: Why Leading by Example Matters

May 22, 2024 Children


There’s no instruction manual, and not all of us had great examples of parenting when we were growing up. A lot of us are just figuring it out as we go along, and that’s ok!

From what I’ve learned as a parent, the most important thing is to love your children, followed closely by setting a good example. Babies start copying things they see really early on. You smile, and they smile back. Toddlers use this copying in their play, like pretending a toy is a phone or acting out stuff they’ve seen at home or on TV.

examples of parenting

As parents, we’re the ones they watch and learn from every day. Even when we think they’re not paying attention, they are. For example, I was so embarrassed when my son blurted out a swear word at daycare. Where did he learn it? Unfortunately, from me at home. It taught me that my child is learning from me all the time.


It means we need to think about our own behavior – how we act, our habits, manners, how we treat others, what we watch, our work habits, and our relationships. Simply telling your child something isn’t enough anymore. We have to show them how to behave.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Actions speak louder than words,” and it’s especially true with kids. For instance, if we tell them to eat their veggies, we should eat some too. Or if we tell them not to yell at their sibling, but then we yell at them for doing it, it’s confusing for them.

Basically, if there’s something you don’t want your child to do, you shouldn’t be doing it either. Is it hard? Yeah, at first. But don’t give up. It just takes practice and being consistent.


One thing you can do to help is to ask yourself, “Would I want my kids to copy this behavior?” If the answer is “No,” then it’s something you need to change.

What if you make a mistake? It happens to all of us. Just own up to it, fix it, and try not to do it again.

Remember, no parent is perfect!
Not even the ones who look perfect on social media!

Here’s something to think about:


Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: