Why Do Children Need Good Role Models?


Quick Answer

Children who have positive role models are more equipped to make healthy life decisions. Studies have shown that kids with good role models have higher self-esteem and better academic performance than those who do not.

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Full Answer

Children thrive as individuals and develop healthier relationships with others when they have been shown healthy examples of how to interact and behave. Kids who grow up with a network of healthy adult role models generally grow up to be more psychologically resilient than those who do not. Conversely, kids who do not have such a network are far more likely to develop behavior problems. This is because they normalize unhealthy behavior as a result of negative influences from adults around them. Even very young children learn to model what they see.

Children's primary role models are usually their parents. Teachers, siblings and immediate family members are also among most young people's early role models. Kids begin to look for role models outside their immediate circle as they get older, and often look up to people they see in the media. Psychologists say that talking to kids about their role models is a good idea, especially if they seem to be idolizing someone who sets a negative example.

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