You might not know it, but you’re a role model. At one time or another, a kid somewhere has looked up to you. Simply by being an adult, you have an influence on kids’ lives. While we constantly publish our activity on all forms of social media, we have an even more extended reach and influence, and this is likely followed by the younger generation. We’re older, wiser, and therefore know what is right and what is wrong. Sound like a lot of pressure?
Well it is and we can’t take this lightly.
Think about the people you looked up to as a kid. Your role models most likely were older people in your life; neighbors, teachers, parents. You wanted to be just like them when you grew up, so you probably tried to mimic their behavior. Kids these days can look up almost anyone on Instagram and who knows who they might be looking at. Scrolling through the popular page now, I don’t know if I would want my children being influenced by young adults these days. It is so important for us to lead by example, and take a look at the values we perpetuate in our daily lives.
Instead of demonstrating INSECURITY, we should be encouraging SELF LOVE.
We teach young children that if there is something about ourselves that we don’t like, especially physically, then we should change it. Young minds are so impressionable that we must make sure we are embracing imperfections and showing kids that it’s okay to look different from the person on your left or right. Kids need to know that it is okay to look unique, so we need to embrace being ourselves and loving ourselves for their sake.
Instead of glorifying LAZINESS, we should be showing DETERMINATION.
On the opposite end of that, with the rise in popularity of phrases like “I can’t even” or “Namastay in bed”, the perpetuation of laziness among young adults has grown greatly. We’re confusing effortless with laziness, and it has been deemed uncool to look like you’re trying too hard. Why shouldn’t we be encouraging each other, and kids, to always strive to do our best? What ever happened to ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try again’? We need to stop celebrating mediocrity and bring back determination and giving ourselves a pat on the back for a job well done.
Instead of teaching FEAR, we should exhibit KINDNESS.
I’m all for teaching kids about stranger danger and I can completely understand that parents worry about their children’s safety. However, kids shouldn’t learn to fear every person who might smile as they walk by. Today, we are afraid of anyone who is different and whose values might not completely match our own. We can’t let children grow up so close minded. We need to embrace differences among people and not demonstrate such judgmental thinking.
Kids learn by observing and we’re teaching the next generation way more than we even realize. We influence the kids in our lives, not just directly at family barbecues, but indirectly on social media as well. By obsessing over fad diets, tweeting questionable racist remarks, or posting pictures about being soooooooo lazy, we’re showing the younger generation that it’s okay to do all these things too.
Now that you know you’re a role model, try to put forth your best self and demonstrate good values you would want your son or daughter to follow. No pressure!
Featured image via Helena Lopes on Pexels