Parents as Role Models: What kind of role model are you for your kids ?

Fareed Ahmad

The term role model generally means any “person who serves as an example, whose behaviour is emulated by others”.This term first appeared in Robert K. Merton‘s socialization research of medical students. But with the growing knowledge and literature this term has became very general and known.
Today let`s discuss role models with respect to kids & teenagers. Observations tell us that life of kids revolve around few major role models, either parents, famous celebrities (actors or sports person) or peers groups..

The superstars, celebrities, and sports men who are generally projected in the media, who get fame are generally not good humans ‘character wise’. Indeed they are amazing philanthropists but they are often caught drunk, in affairs and scandals.. Those evil thing when presented in a nice glamorous way embellished with spicy media gossip, makes it even more attractive. With that today’s media is not just gossiping around to take competitive advantage but also promoting wrong family values and modeling unethical and moral behavior for children. The movies and tv serials badly exploit women, and project very abusive language. Many parents complaint that their daughters would want to imitate some of today’s trendy appearances and behaviors and that their sons adopt hair style or clothing of trendy people like David Beckham or Brad Pitt.
While children do indeed look to the media for role models, and this is also true that we can`t stop them from external environment, from internet, television and so forth yet parents still have a tremendous amount of influence in their children’s lives and this is proved by several surveys. According to a BBC survey Teenagers look to their parents as role models much more than celebrities such as David Beckham or Pete Doherty.

It is imperative that parents should be positive, pro-social models that lead by example so that their children learn to be emotionally intelligent and deal with all kinds of people while nurturing loving relationships as they grow up. In a busy world where evil is becoming much more attractive and easy to adopt children may grow up physically but they still need spiritual growth and realization that evil is something wrong and should be hated, despite the fact that it might be glittering

Parents should thus show their children that honesty, courage, mercy, love and tolerance are as important as brilliant feats of mind and body are to retain the world’s sanity. This is something which we own to our childrens.

It might should difficult but with practice you`ll become expert in handling your kids. Children look up to their parents with love and trust and at least in the formative years they try to follow closely the example set by their parents.

To increase your influence as parents, and decrease the influence of celebrities you need to limit the amount of time, kids spend watching television and videos..You should provide them alternative and should engage them in physical activities, such as charity work, ‘ show them that there are other ways to correct charity too , other then charity concerts or dramas. .. etc

Parents should also increase the time of children you spend with them. And make sure, that you don`t bash them, rather communicate with them. Open the channels of communication, when they are in problem, help them. Tell them. Children are more likely to imitate parents if parents spend time with them.
Being parent you should ensure that you meet nice people, people who are God fearing, who follow Right Islam and make sure that your children are in friends with their children. In this way for them keeping beard, or wearing abaya won`t be alien as they`ll see many more friends of their doing the same, this would solve their peer problems too.

Being parents you should always try to figure out the core reason of why your children wants something or behave in a particular manner and then provide alternatives, suppose if you don`t want your children to celebrate Birthdays then maybe the core reason he wants to celebrate is to accumulate gifts. .. In such case, you much occasionally keep on giving him gifts.

In addition, parents should be very careful of how they behave themselves. ‘A fish rots from the Top’ : it is extremely well known that “ Children don`t do what you tell them to do, rather they do what they see you doing”. Always remember, if you are telling a lie. How can you expect your child to stop lying?. Thus to improve them, you must improve yourself too.