Development Of The Child: A Parenting And Role Model Sandwich
By Donovan Grant
“Hey Nathan what do the words role model mean to you son?” I wasn’t sure what he would say or whether he’d even care to answer me…
He stood still for a moment, rolled his eyes and said “nothing!”
Then then that cheeky grin appeared – this was going to be good.
“Well to me a role model is someone you follow or look up to. Kind of like a hero.”
“And dad, you can get good role models and bad ones.”
Before I had a chance to ask him who are some of his role models he ran out of the room like 9 year olds do – not to be seen again!
Isn’t the innocence of youth great? He summed up the “A person who leads you whether good or bad”
When our children have influential people in life, it is important that the ways of that person are healthy ones.
Doesn’t everybody need someone to look to for inspiration?
I bet you’d be surprised at the number of people trying to be a main player in your child’s life. The thing is many of these role models have their own agendas and some of them are just desperate for their own ego to be boosted.
Wouldn’t it be smart for us parents to know who our child’s role models are? They can of course be young, old, TV & movie stars, music artists or even a friend of the family. You can easily tell, that not all of these candidates are ideal for children to really take on their lifestyles. So it seems that you need to put an answer to the question “is this person (he or she) a good role model for my child?”
I rolled the clock back a little while planning this article for you… although we never met, one of my heroes as a young boy was Muhammad Ali. Imagine being called “the greatest heavyweight boxer ever”. Doesn’t that speak volumes about someone? There was confidence, determination, a sense of fun and all those awesome rhymes that flowed from him like songs. I wonder whether he was the influence for me writing a lot of poetry in my youth…
The development of the child takes time. Finding the best role models takes time too.
The beauty of it is that when a child has positive influences around them on a regular basis, it helps them to develop.
Let’s face it; your child is going to find some role models in their life by chance anyway. So have you considered helping them discover some inspirational ones?
Here are three sources for good role models.
#1 Take a trip to your local library
– Now before you say “are you crazy, who wants a librarian as a role model?” What we’re talking about here is the tons of biographies that are packed with stories of challenge, defeat, victories and fun. Can you imagine your son getting the inside story on what it takes to become and live as a world driving champion? Or maybe your daughter was looking over the shoulder of a millionaire businesswoman? Libraries are treasure chest of great ideas; you name the subject, you’re bound to find a book on it!
#2 You are the best role model
– How about you being the ultimate example? When we have visions and ideas for our children, wouldn’t it be great if we could lead them to it? As they are with us so often they get maximum impact from us. So we have the chance to shape what we know to be good for them .When we share all our habits (good and bad) they get to see first-hand what it takes to be a great leader. Sometimes, our kids can help us to get back on track with some of our goals, just because we know they are watching!
#3 Stepping outside your normal circle
– Do you introduce your children to influential people outside your normal setting? Some people may say that you’re showing off or being a bit snobby; but what if your child could learn some new ideas or find a new opportunity just because they met someone new? One thing for sure is that if we expect the best for our children, then we have to give them all sensible opportunities that we can to help them. As a matter of fact, as they grow up friendships and relationships with people outside of their normal situations will have a big say in whether they achieve their dreams.
Role models and heroes have helped to shape the world that we live in. It’s only fair to our children that we make them aware of the value of role models in the lives. When we take time out and teach them that sometimes the difference between success and failure is a small margin. Sometimes it’s not because one person was better than the other. It was simply because the other person found out from a previous winner, what it took to win!
Let’s lead from the front and give our children the kind of role models they need for success in all areas of their life!
The world needs YOUR child to fulfill their dreams!
What will your next step be in helping the best learning environment for your child? Please comment below and I promise to read every single one!
Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com