It seems obvious that a positive role model is a good thing, but have you ever stopped and wondered why? What are the true benefits and why is it important to make a concentrated effort to find or to be that role model for your child?
Modelling is a method of learning behaviours by simulating others. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but it's still modelling, and we all have done it to one extent or another. It's the most basic mode of learning what it means to be a man, woman or child.
Dr. Kristine Conditt, a psychologist practicing in Cedar Falls, Iowa, explains: "A positive role model can give us an example of our potential. They point out what is good about us--our strengths and abilities--and affirm our dreams for who we could be. They inspire us to be more than we are now and to be the best me I can be."
In a study done for Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, doctors found the following result: "Having a role model, particularly an individual known to the adolescent, was also associated with higher self-esteem and higher grades."
Conditt concurs: "It's easy for kids to get swayed by so many influences in our society, but having a good role model who they think is cool or who thinks they are cool, makes it easier to avoid the unhealthy influences and stay focused on what they could be."
Parents As Role Models
According to "The Handbook of Health Behavior Research," by David S. Gochman, warm, nurturing mothers who served as a positive role model to their children had more independent children in areas of hygiene, nutrition, and good sleep habits than other children.
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