How Positive Role Models can provide us with Encouragement and Inspiration and save us from Headaches and Heartaches.
For our Health and Wellbeing – Positive encouraging role models are vital for our psychological health and development, right from infancy and throughout childhood, adolescence and adulthood. They help us to guide us towards healthy decision-making, help to give us a realistic perspective about our lives, as well as to give us confidence in the way we do things – because that’s how someone we admire would handle a situation “That’s how Aunty Eva would do it…”
“To Find” and “To Be”: In the parenting season it is particularly important to: find great role models for ourselves and to do what we can to be a great role model for our children and others.
Youngsters look to role models as inspiration and as a blueprint for success later in life. We tend to follow successful and popular people because their examples and leads are obviously worth following. A toddler says “Thank you,” to a waitress because he sees mum saying it and he gets great feedback, thus modelling good manners for later life.
Children’s first role models are their parents, followed by other family members and then teachers. Young children copy and learn from the behaviour of all these people. A little later in life children – and even adults – look further afield for role models. Older children, work colleagues, successful athletes, musicians, businesspeople, all these figures give us something to aim for. They encourage us when we’re losing hope or lacking in ideas, change our political ideas and career choices, even our religious leanings and beliefs.
The old Chinese Proverb says –“ The Student becomes like the Teacher. “This is why it’s vital that we intentionally choose role models who are morally upright, kind, able to think for themselves and even outside the box once in a while. It is great to be encouraged by those who are warm and compassionate yet emotionally resilient to be able to keep thriving through life. Great role models are often those who are relatable and who model being “Real”. It is through their challenges we can learn how they navigate through their mistakes and difficulties in a healthy way.
Different Role Models for Different aspects and seasons of our lives: Just as no role model is perfect, no one role model fits every single part of our lives. It’s important to have several role models to guide us through the different areas of our lives. We need one to model good relationships and friendships, one to model career ambition, one for kindness to animals and another to show us fair play on the sports field.
The 2 Season Approach: Someone once shared with me very wisely about having a 2 Season approach to life. Look around to find someone you admire who is doing your current season really well. Get to know them, ask them questions, learn from them. Then also look around to see who is in the next season to you. By talking with them – this can provide enormous wisdom and ideas as you prepare for the next season with your child. You can gain great ideas about what to do …and also what not to do. This 2 season approach saves lots of time, energy, money and stress and worry.
We also need different role models at different stages of our lives – from our youngest years, right through to modelling for us to be able to raise our own children well and navigate each season with fewer headaches and heartaches and greater courage, inspiration and confidence.