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When a role model displays behavior that is negative, talk with your child about your family values and why the behavior is unacceptable.By the time children become adolescents, they should be able to differentiate the positive and negative behaviors of the people they admire.
Role models show passion for their work and have the capacity to infect others with their passion.
Speaking of several of his teachers, one student said, “They’re so dedicated to teaching students and helping students and empowering students. They are always trying to give back to the next generation.
In fact, students were quick to state that “a true role model is not the person with the best job title, the most responsibility, or the greatest fame to his or her name.” Anyone can inspire a child to achieve their potential in life.
While my research focused on the positive impact of a role model in young people’s lives, role models can also have negative impacts.
It helps them understand how their own values are part of who they are and how they might seek fulfilling roles as adults.
For example, students spoke of many people who supported causes from education to poverty to the environment.
They play an essential part in a child’s positive development.
Natalie, age 18, described her role model as a person with “a clear sense of what is important to her, putting forth the effort to improve and create things that will make a difference.” When Samira, also 18, feels “lazy, tired, or just plain annoyed,” she thinks of her role model and “is motivated to start working again.” Natalie and Samira were part of my research study on how young people develop the skills, abilities, and motivation to become engaged citizens.
Most often, when role models embrace inappropriate behaviors, they lose their ability to inspire others.
However, if a child becomes significantly attached to a role model’s ideology, power, or popularity, the young person may believe the negative behavior is acceptable.