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The Promise of Being a Good Role Model

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

The question is not whether your children will emulate you; they will. The question is which behaviors they will imitate. Through role modeling, you have the ability to influence your children’s development in positive ways and make it more likely that they become people you will admire when they mature.

What kids see and believe, they become.

Deciding what behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs you want to model gives you the opportunity to consider your own values – what traits and behaviors do you want your children to exhibit?

With the responsibility of behaving in ways you want your children to emulate comes the possibility of self-improvement, growth, and increased insight.

Have you ever heard these from phrases before?

  • The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  • He’s just like his father.

  • Like father, like son

  • A chip off the old block

  • She is definitely her mother’s daughter.

What is a Good Role Model?

According to David Streight, executive director of the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education and a nationally certified school psychologist, we know the following about good role models for children:

  • The way you act and the kind of model you offer your children constitutes one of the five well-researched practices proven to maximize the chances your kids will grow up with good consciences and well-developed moral reasoning skills.

  • The right kind of modeling can influence how much empathy your child will end up feeling and showing in later life.

  • The chances of your children growing up to be altruistic – to be willing to act for the benefit of others, even when there are no tangible rewards involved – are better depending on the kinds of role models children grow up with.

  • Good role models can make lifelong impressions on children, regarding how to act in the difficult situations that they will inevitably face in life.

Role modeling is one of the most powerful tools you have in your parenting tool belt to influence the direction of your children’s character, whatever their age. When used to best advantage, you can pass on the values you want your children to adopt so that they become the adults you would like them to be.

As you consciously influence your children’s growth and development, you have the potential to positively impact your family legacy for generations to come. Each day, little by little, you can build a legacy of emotional health and resiliency for your children to inherit.

Remember – what goes around, comes around, from one generation to the next.

For more information about parenting, check out the following books.

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