Parents should be models for their children and ideally, should show the character and behaviour that they desire their children to show. All parents have the ability to provide their children a secure, warm, peaceful and safe environment and the first step towards creating that is to have a good, solid and loving relationship or marriage.

Most parents instinctively have learned how to negotiate, agree and disagree, compromise and respect each other and they show virtues and principles. The ideal parent is gentle, kind, understanding and hard working and tries to teach the importance of these qualities to their children. Parents should be interested in what their children are doing, as well as their thoughts and feelings; and parents should go out of their way to make their children feel wanted, respected and loved. The children must do their part too, and be responsible, accountable for their actions and willing to accept the consequences of bad behaviour or poor judgement.

As parents, if we want to teach our children responsibility, respect and appropriate behaviour, it is essential that we exhibit those traits ourselves. We cannot expect our children to behave and do the right thing, if we ourselves are not behaving the right way, or are making poor decisions. Most children can easily see through lies and hypocrisy and will instinctively know if their parents are behaving truthfully. In short, it is a requirement for parents to actually be what it is that they want their children to be.

A parent's philosophy should be that their children should do as they themselves do, rather do as they say. Children should be able to see their parents behaving as they have been told to behave, so that they can imitate the behaviour. A parent is, simply put, a role model for their children who inevitably are going to speak and behave the way that their parents do, making it essential to behave as you would want your children to. This is an unavoidable fact of parenting, and one that all parents have to understand if they are to raise their children to be role models themselves some day.

From Dr. James Jones' book

Dr. Jones examples of modelled behaviour should be the same in a boarding school for difficult teenagers as they are in a happy home. The staff at a teen boot camp must set high standards and adhere to them and they must be just as much a role model as any parent. It is no good you asking a student to do something that you would not want to do yourself. Hopefully, you will never need to place your teen in a boarding school for troubled teens, but if you are in this position, it is important to choose the right facility. The staff there must be decent and reliable people, with high standards of behaviour.

It cannot be stressed enough that parents must be a good role model for their children, and this must be as soon as a child is born, not when they are a teenager and it is too late.