Role model: Who do your kids look up to?

Entertainers, sport stars, and other celebrities influence your children, and they might try to copy how the celebrities look and how they behave.

Role models are people your children will look up to, want to follow, and be like. Your children look up to different people including their teachers, peers, and relatives. A role model can help them shape such aspects as their behavior and the decisions they make. Role models can also play an important part in inspiring kids to learn positive values, and even in overcoming obstacles.

Entertainers, sport stars, and other celebrities influence your children, and they might try to copy how the celebrities look and how they behave. But not all role models are positive, and some could have a negative influence on your children. Here are five useful suggestions to help you discuss the behavior and become a positive role model for your children .

1. Identify qualities of a role model

Help your children to identify what you consider positive qualities of role models. It is important that you involve your children in the conversation. So you could ask them to identify some of the qualities they admire in the people they look up to. Focus on the qualities that you would like your children to learn and practice.

Some positive qualities of role models could be a passion for what they do and their ability to inspire others . Others could include having values that are clear, being more focused on others than themselves, and integrity.

2. Identify people with positive qualities

Identify people your children know in your community, church, and so on, who have positive qualities. Point out to your children why these people are a good influence on others. Then help your children identify positive role models, and encourage them to emulate the positive qualities.

3. Build your children’s self esteem

Self esteem is the picture your children have of themselves, and this affects whether or not they like themselves, and the people they choose as role models. Help your children to understand that they are persons of worth. Let them know that they don’t have to copy others, and it’s alright to be themselves.

Use the opportunity to point out that the right kind of role model could serve to motivate them to achieve their goals. Also, encourage your children to get involved in volunteering, after school programs, and other activities to boost their self esteem.

4. Help children understand that people are imperfect

Children many times hero worship celebrities as role models, and feel that they can do no wrong. Help your children to understand that people have good and bad qualities, and that they make mistakes. Then teach them to distinguish between the positive and negative behaviors .

5. Be a positive role model for your children

It is important that you be a positive role model for your children. Your children learn how to behave by following your example. However, you need to be consistent with what you teach and the example you set. As a parent, model the behaviors you would like to see your children exhibit. For example, if you are thankful and show respect to others, it is likely that your children will do the same.