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Most often, when role models embrace inappropriate behaviors, they lose their ability to inspire others.
Role models helped these students understand the underlying values that motivated people to become advocates for social change and innovation. Role models are usually active in their communities, freely giving of their time and talents to benefit people.
Students admired people who served on local boards, reached out to neighbors in need, voted, and were active members of community organizations.
A positive role model serves as an example–inspiring children to live meaningful lives.
Role models show young people how to live with integrity, optimism, hope, determination, and compassion.
They are educators, civic leaders, mothers, fathers, clergy, peers, and ordinary people encountered in everyday life.
My study showed that being a role model is not constrained to those with fancy titles or personal wealth.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.He has dedicated his life to give back to his community. Positive role models are also linked to self-efficacy, the ability to believe in ourselves.In fact, the young people in my study admitted that had they not learned to believe in themselves, they would not have been capable of believing they could make a difference in the world!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.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.