Children imitate behavior.It’s that easy. Most of us can remember the few adults in our lives which had great influence. Remember the not-so- good ones? Some of those role models many of us are still trying to forget! But healthy role models challenged us and encouraged us like no one else. We wanted to be like them. They helped us come to places of great decision- the ones that affected the outcome of our lives.
Of course the most obvious first role models for any child are us parents and then grandparents, aunts, uncles, older cousins and of course teachers! What is healthy in modeling behavior? If we smoke, drink, swear, gossip, or just sit around and watch TV- it’s very likely our kids will do the same. We can preach all about not doing those things but if we do them- well, I remember my mother would advise me but if I saw her do what was the opposite or be a hypocrite- then all was lost! Gardening is what I enjoy doing or use to until my body got a bit older! But it has taught me that my kids are like raw earth; soft, pliable, fresh and full of nutrients, but it is up to me on how that earth is molded; what will be planted in that earth and how I will water it. So who is up for finding healthy, godly role models for our kids?
Our families are over-flowing fountains of enrichment, but we have come and tap into those fountains. We need to seek out those positive grandparents, the interactive uncles and aunts. Think about ways of connecting your child with those members and then nurture each time they connect! Suggest to the family members fun things they might do with your child and then call them afterward and thank them! Or have your child make the call! We need to have our older kids call family routinely and help them find positive shared interests.
Remembering what it was like with our own family role models will help us engage the family with our kids. Strong connections form as they work together on things that they both care about! It is said when grandparents and grand’s get together there is no real age difference! Something magical reaches across all the generations bringing grandchildren and their grannies and papa’s in unique mentoring life-long relationships for both! Can you remember when your grannie would tell stories about your extended family? That is what we want for our kids!
We need to listen to our kids when they share about a teacher. The more that teacher is shared about in the affirmative- maybe we should seek them out and encourage them for their support of our child’s dreams and thank them for motivating them. Those teachers of theirs are brimming with values and morals and wells of experiences that our children can soak up. We need to find ways to for our kids to stick close to those teachers. Have your kids write thank you notes at the end of a semester. We need to be proactive with those positive role models. Our kids are the sum of those role models experiences- let’s keep reminding ourselves of this!-