This is Mark. He likes to do his hair like Uncle Michael.
This is Uncle Michael. Through no fault of his own, he is a role model.
Michael is the youngest of four siblings. At the tender age of 13, he became an uncle. Suddenly, he was thrust in to the role of being the older one, the one whom a new little man would look up to and copy.
Small things are big in young children’s eyes. The sound of your voice when you speak to them. The attentiveness you show them. The way you make them feel.
The role of role models
Small people use big people as role models because they need to learn about life. But they know only what they see. They often emulate people they admire, identify with (e.g., same gender), or who are a constant in their lives (e.g., parents).
It’s cute when a small person copies a hairstyle or says thank you like the rest of the family members do. It’s not so cute when the small person treats others with disrespect or uses age-inappropriate bad language (s)he doesn’t even know the meaning of.
Fortunately, Uncle Michael has always been aware of the gravity of his responsibility. We are all role models for the younger people in our lives. We need to treat them and those around us the way we want the small people to learn to treat us and others. We also need to treat ourselves the way we want them to learn to treat themselves so they can enjoy a healthy body, mind, and interpersonal relationships throughout their lives.
Mark my words, kids will do as you do.