Just about everyone knows that good role models are important for a child’s development, but have you ever thought about why this is true?
One of the pillars of The Pacific Institute’s education is the practice of visualization, because we have learned that our mental images, for the most part, are what determine our reality. In other words, the way we see ourselves, and the world around us, is what decides how we will behave. How we behave determines, to a very great extent, what will happen to us.
Role models serve as living, breathing mental images that help us visualize the way we would like to live. They are touchstones, reference points if you will, that we can learn from and measure against, while we build the person we want to be.
What kinds of role models are best? No question about it, people we can actually get to know. You see, while it’s helpful to read about an admirable person in a book or magazine, watch an inspiring life story in the movies, or watch successful people on TV, it is much more powerful when we can actually interact with someone who shows us possibilities for ourselves.
When we can do so on a daily or regular basis, as we do with parents, grandparents, teachers and so on, this has the most powerful impact of all. As parents, it is helpful to remember that your kids will learn far more from what you do than from what you say. The best role models only need to set a good example. The kids will usually figure the rest out for themselves.