The Importance of Positive Role Models for Children

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Most parents would like their children to grow up to be healthy, happy individuals who show respect and consideration for others. However, many good character qualities cannot be taught, they need to be experienced, which is why positive role models are extremely important. When a child follows the example of any adult, they will pick up habits and perspectives that could last a lifetime. This is the main reason that college preparatory schools such as the Landon School have teachers who are also mentors outside the classroom.

What Is a Role Model?
A role model is a person whose behavior is imitated by other people. There are role models who engage in positive and constructive actions and there are those who have bad habits that can be transferred to anyone who admires that person. Some people lead such negative and destructive lives that they are examples of what not to do. Children who have good, strong role models to follow have a better chance of developing a positive lifestyle. While everyone may have a different definition of what is a good role model, here are a few with which most people agree.

Four Characteristics of a Good Role Model
A good role model is not a fanatic. He or she will always try to make good decisions about lifestyle choices such as food, exercise, reading, making conversation and other things that children should learn. The child will notice the positive attitude and get the message that making an effort is more important than perfection.

The adult should show respect to others, whether it is in the grocery store or the boardroom. One of the first things children learn is how to talk to others. If they see the adults who are close to them treat others in a demeaning way, children will automatically do the same. It is not enough to tell children that it is important to respect others. They need to see how it is done, which can be seen in the Landon experience and other college preparatory schools.

Most adults have many interests, and it is important to show children that curiosity can be a good thing. Life-long learning means to be interested in many aspects of life, whether it is music, outdoor sports, current events or plumbing. When children see that their parents show interest and sometimes proficiency in many things, they get the courage to get out of their comfort zone and explore other activities.

Exercise is extremely important for children’s’ health and proper development. A good role model should actively engage their child in some form of activity every day. Watching TV or playing computer games may be all right for an hour or two, according to the Mayo Clinic, but more than that can seriously affect the child’s health. Children do not need to play vigorous sports to be healthy, but at least a daily walk or game of tag is required. Being a couch potato is not considered a good role for any adult or child.

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Role models are not superhuman, but they have a powerful impact on the young children who are watching their every move. Positive actions by role models create positive habits in children that cannot be learned in the classroom.

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