Why are Role Models Important?

A mother is meditating with her daughter

Do you know who your child’s role models are? Role models can be parents, older siblings, neighbors, friends, teachers, counselors, community leaders, celebrities—or really anyone a child admires and looks up to—and finding good role models for students is important for childhood development. Many positive character traits and behaviors need to be observed and experienced to be fully understood. By witnessing these characteristics in role models, children can grow up to be healthy, happy individuals who are respectful and considerate of others.  

Why Are Role Models Important?

A role model is a person whose behaviors are learned and emulated by others. The importance of good role models is simple. When a child has a positive role model, they are likely to engage in constructive actions like the person they look up to. Key to their development, children who have positive role models will pick up habits and even perspectives of adults that could last a lifetime.   

3 Essential Characteristics of Positive Role Modeling

For teens especially, role models set important examples of how to behave and achieve goals. Here are three essential characteristics of positive role models: 

  1. Lives a Healthy Lifestyle: Setting an example for what a healthy lifestyle looks like is an important aspect of developing a positive physical and mental well-being. Someone that eats healthy meals, lives an active life, and makes healthy choices makes a strong role model. 
  2. Demonstrates Respect and Self-Awareness: Role models who have positive attitudes, are respectful, and demonstrate self-awareness influence the actions and behaviors of the children looking up to them.  
  3. Shows Commitment to Values and Goals: Someone who is steadfast and passionate about what they do and who they want to become can have a profound effect on a child, helping them develop a strong work ethic and confidence.  
Connections Academy student and Learning Partner hiking

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