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Reasons why young people need role models

Discover why having role models in their lives is crucial for young people. We present six compelling reasons why becoming a positive influence can greatly benefit the development of your child. Don't miss out on the chance to make a difference in their life.

April 3 2023 - 4 min read

As a parent, your role is vast. It spans much deeper than just providing a safe and loving home life for your child; it’s also up to you to teach them all kinds of important life skills. But even with all your efforts being poured into parenting, there is still a lot to be said for role models in your child’s life. A role model can come in many different forms, and each can provide countless benefits.

If you’ve never given thought to finding positive role models for your child, now is the time to examine it further. Here we’ll take a look at six reasons why young people need role models in their lives. It could end up being one of the best things you do for your child.

6 Reasons Why Young People Need Role Models

Teach Kids How to Find Solutions to Problems

Because every person goes through challenges and problems in life, kids must learn how to deal with them and find a solution. Getting mad, throwing a temper tantrum or even holding emotions in and ignoring the issue isn't going to fix things. A role model can be someone that challenges them to look at their problem from a different angle, get creative and find a workable solution. It’s a fresh voice that can be helpful and someone to take advice from that isn’t their parent.

Problems don’t magically fade away in adulthood, so learning how to deal with challenges from a young age is a useful life lesson.

Learn to Cope with Various Emotions

It’s very normal for young people to deal with a variety of emotions. Sometimes they may not even be able to identify the emotions and how they are feeling; they just know they are going through things and may be feeling overwhelmed. Stress, frustration and anxiety are all common emotions that kids need to learn how to deal with healthily. Having a role model in their life means they have a sounding board, someone that they can share their thoughts and emotions with.

Their role model may be someone who has gone through a similar experience, which can give them valuable insight. Role models may even be able to offer tips, ideas and solutions on ways they have handled their emotions and stress in the past, giving kids a tangible plan to work with. It’s also not unusual for role models to take part in activities and sports with kids, giving them a healthy outlet for their emotions.

Now, just because they have a mentor to discuss their feelings with, it doesn’t mean you are locked out. It’s very important that as a parent you keep the lines of communication open and work to ensure your child feels comfortable speaking to you. Be there to offer them any support they need. A role model is just there to offer a different take.

Connect with Someone Closer to Their Age

This particular reason tends to be more applicable to tweens and teenagers. If you’re a parent to a child in either of these age groups, then it can be wonderful to allow them to talk to someone closer to their age. Sure, you can talk to them about your own teenage experiences, but it will be different coming from someone who is just a couple of years older than them. They can probably relate to each other much better.

Build Their Social Skills

Having a role model also means your child will be working on their social skills. This is something that can be overlooked when you're focused on helping them work through their emotions. Social skills will teach them how to feel confident conversing with others, how to strike up and then build strong relationships and how to be a good friend in life. The more social opportunities you give them, the better it is for them.

Role Models Can Help with Career Goals

Another side to role models is how they can help young people with career goals. Again, this would apply more to tweens and teens, as they are more likely to start thinking about their future and what they want to do.

A role model can be someone who helps the child figure out what their strengths are in terms of a future career, give them advice, help them to figure out the path to success and fill them with confidence. In this case, it can be helpful to find a role model in the industry/field that most interests your child, so make sure you talk to them and learn about the jobs they like.

Don’t Forget – You are a Role Model Too

If you’ve been focused on finding someone to act as the role model in your child’s life, don’t forget to also recognise that this person can be you. You too can be a positive role model that offers support and empathy without judgement, showing them a different path to life and reminding them that even if they are going through tough times, things will change.

The best way to act as a role model is to lead by example. Show your child how to spread positivity into the world, believe in themselves, love themselves and make a difference. The stronger the role model you can be for them, the better the example they have to learn from.

Children who are in the care system especially need role models in their life. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a foster parent, perhaps now is the time to look into the process involved and the requirements. Generally speaking, to foster a child in the UK you need to be age 21 or over, have a legal right to work in the UK, and have an empty bedroom for your foster child. Just remember, the stronger the role model you can be, the more they will benefit.

When it comes down to it, providing your child with a role model can benefit them in all kinds of different ways. A role model isn’t just a temporary thing either; this is a relationship they can continue into their adult years and cherish forever.