The Value and Importance of Role Models
Having a role model in your life can be one of the best choices you can make to improve your quality of life. Having more than one role model is even better, as you will travel down different paths in life, and different role models will mirror different values.
It is especially important for children to have positive role models as they grow. Children imitate the behavior of others, and surrounding them with the proper role models can help them develop a positive self-esteem that continues into their adult lives.
What Makes a Good Role Model
A child’s first role models are almost always their parents, other family members or their teachers, because that is where they will get the unconditional love that they need. As is often said, children are like sponges and will absorb any information that they encounter. That is why it is important to present positive ideals when interacting with them. If you swear, they most likely will start repeating what you say. If you smoke, chances are good that they will smoke when they get older.
Counter to that, if you make a habit of limiting your own TV time around them, they will be less likely to switch on the tube every chance they get. If you spend time reading to and with your children, there is a much better chance that they will have a preference for reading when they have some downtime, instead of resorting to hijinks with friends.
Children will inevitably choose their own role models, too, especially from the media. It is important to monitor their choices to make sure that the role models they choose are projecting positive ideals and not undermining the good values they have already picked up from others.
The Role Teachers Play
Teachers in particular have a tremendous influence over how children behave. They spend almost as much time with children as do their parents, but they are separate from home life and may provide a lot of information and support that a child might not run across elsewhere.
Children often look up to their teachers, so if they feel they can trust one, they are likely to mimic the trait of trustworthiness themselves. School is a place where children learn much more than what they get from their schoolbooks. Teachers expose them to activities that help to build their self-esteem.
For instance, if a child is struggling in school or being pushed around by a bully, having a teacher acknowledge their situation and try to help them with it goes a long way towards a child developing a positive self-image, despite any shortcomings.
The Argument for Having Multiple Role Models
Role models come from every walk of life. As children encounter others with different backgrounds from their own, having different role models will expose them to a broader view of life and help them be more flexible in different situations.
One role model can help a child mirror his family’s own values. Another role model might be able to offer solutions to problems in another area of their lives. Another might be an inspiration that motivates a person to shoot for the stars. The combination of role models you gather can make a distinct difference in the quality of your life.
In short, having good role models can change your entire life.