Whether one realizes it or not, the truth is that young people conduct themselves according to their models. In light of this irrefutable fact, there should then be specific role models highlighted in family life. Another reason for parents to take precautions about what they themselves do and advocate around their offspring.
“Monkey see, monkey do”
The above is not simply a phrase; rather it depicts how people learn. Yes, it most certainly does pertain to toddlers and very young children, but one should be aware that it continues all throughout a person’s life. Reflect upon oneself and face all the behavior patterns, beliefs and mannerisms adopted and adapted from others; from parents to favorite fiction heroes. How many of those are exemplary and which are there deep regrets about?
Imitation is a powerful tool as it oftentimes occurs without realization. Therefore, it is necessary to put one’s actions in check and re-think the ‘whats’ and the ‘what nots’. In any case, when carefully assessing one’s behavior in the family, in the classroom or at work, one can single out the ‘nots’ and better focus on the ‘whats’ for the benefit of those youngsters.
Appropriate role models
An appropriate role model is one which displays empathy and understanding for others. These are the heroes in everyday life or in fiction books. Those who were lucky enough to be raised in a supportive family background by parents who knew how to balance everything out, congratulations! You are the lucky minority. Most have been raised in a combination of conflicts where most had to find the right path in life from a combination of parents, teachers and other life heroes.
Thus, the appropriate role models are the ones who put self gain last and no matter what the consequences and self inhibitions do the right thing. Those role models come in wonderful fiction novels with which youngsters can travel and dare the trying while learning proper conduct.Caution, the educator or parent must be careful to instill in himself some of those traits that their mentees deem as appropriate for it to have an effect. Why? It is not enough that a top athlete or wonderful fiction character be an ideal role model since they are not a ‘flesh and bones’ part in the youth’s life. Yes, they will provide a guidance but it is the one he/she is with who makes the difference.
Role models for the classroom
Being a teacher nowadays is more than difficult. At times doing one’s job in the best possible way seems utterly unattainable! How then can a teacher keep his/her cool and continue to be an appropriate role model? Some educators may not realize that whether they wish to be or not, they are exactly that: role models. Their behavior models a role a personality which the students either follow or reject. In any case, as a teacher one always needs to reassess one’s behavior at the end of the day. And that in effect means making adjustments and alterations where possible, which in itself is quite a deed.
Sarcasm, for instance, has no place in the classroom. There are times, though, when it has slipped like a silent serpent out of the best intending teachers’ mouths. In such instances, it would be wise to apologize without sounding weak and explain how people who are well-meaning can reach their limits; without, however, pointing a finger.
Bringing in articles about young people who came from not-so-well off backgrounds that made a name for themselves is a step towards a good direction. They can be athletes, actors, writers or from any other profession. Better still, it may be someone from your own school. Someone who could come in and talk to the class about the trials he/she had to face and what kept them going.
There can even be an assignment of their ‘ideal role model’. That way, the teacher and parent can have an idea of what the children believe is ideal behavior. Then there can be a deep conversation about it, pointing out all the positive and negative traits and what young people should seek to imitate. No matter what the adult (parent, educator, etc.) preaches, one must remember it is the behavior that leaves its indelible mark on a youngster.