Role Modelling in Children: How it Works
Here is the truth! Role models are very important to children. They imitate their behaviours and set their likes and dislikes according to theirs. Role models can be anyone that your children look up to; their friends, a celebrity they see on tv, a game or a book character, their parents or their primary caregivers. Whoever that person might be, it is certain that their beliefs and views about life will have profound effect on your children.This is why the idea of them chasing negative role models sounds so frightening.
Pro’s and Con’s of role modelling in children
Children can find themselves in good positions in life if they follow positive role models, but they can also be the victim of their role models. They might feel helpless or confused if they see that their role model is acting in a wrong way. That can be very painful for them. They might even adopt those negative behaviours of the role models they choose. Thus, what the role models say do matters but what their role models do is thousand times more influential.
What to do ?
Teaching them that all people, even the role models are prone to mistakes is vital. Explain them that they can look up to anyone as long as they adopt their good behaviours. Teach them not to loose their sense of identity and their rights and wrongs.
How to teach right and wrong?
There are many ways to do this. Consequence based story telling is one of the best ways to go! Present them with a story with two different endings. Let one ending include a bad choice and the other one include a good one. See what ending they choose. Ask them why they chose that and ask them questions such as what they would have done if they were in that situation. These kind of interactive plays can help them understand what is right and wrong, other than admiring the character and copying everything they do. Give them examples of positive ways to look at those situation.
Show them so they know how
Children won’t read if you don’t read. Children won’t eat healthy unless you eat healthy. Children won’t be calm if you scream and shout. Children will copy behaviours that they know are wrong too because they might not know how to act otherwise. Thus whatever that is that you are trying to educate to your child about, make sure you do it first! Show them so they know how.
Let them be themselves
This is their life, and for some things they will just need to try and figure out on their own. Teach them that it is okay to make mistakes along the way and learn from them. They don’t have to be perfect child! As long as they know what is right at heart, they will find the positive path! Lastly, explain that it is okay to apologise and to know where you did wrong.
To give a child positive outlook in life, they must be surrounded with people who do positive things. Encourage them to get involved with positive actives such as volunteering. This will create a positive atmosphere and give them a positive mindset.
If you think your child is already role modelling negative individuals or negative behaviours, seek help from a qualified mental health professional. This will help eliminate negative outlooks and attract positive ones in life!