Family Centre: “Calling All Role Models”

November 19, 2014

[Written by Family Centre’s Family Support Specialist, Darien Douglas]

In 2014, children still learn from observing the behaviour of their caregivers; times have not changed regarding this universal truth. Yet, society seems to forget that what we do and say as adults, our children follow. Personal attributes such as integrity, self-discipline, courage, compassion, and positive regard for others are learnt behaviors not givens.

Some parents have resorted to allowing television and the Internet to be the caregiver for their children not realizing that these things are now becoming the role models for children. When you see children dressing really provocative or hear them cursing, ask yourself about the origin of this behaviour rather than just punishing it.

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The television and the Internet can be a useful tool for learning; however, children need to be exposed to adults who are intentional in modeling positive attributes. If parents are not cognizant of their powerful influence, their children will learn behaviours that can be detrimental to their own social and emotional functioning.

Parents should strive to be a positive role model in their children’s lives in a manner that supports healthy physical, social, emotional and spiritual development. Therefore, role modeling should start with the caregivers and the responsibility should not be passed on to the media. Remember every day provides teachable moments and what we model for our children is critical in how they develop into who they will become.

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