Our psychological well-being depends on our role models. They help guide us through our life. We look to them to give us insight into important decisions because we want to make the right choices to be happy.
This need for a role model starts when we’re children. Children need role models in their lives, so they can have some sort of map to follow. Role models hold the map, and children look at that map to decide how they should life their life. It’s why children often see out people who are successful to learn from them.
Who Do Teens Turn to for Role Models?
In a survey conducted by the Harotio Alger Association, more than 75 percent of children reported they look to their relatives, coaches, teachers and community members for role models. These are the people who should be the most accessible to them, so it makes it easy. These figures are around them in some way on a daily basis, so they are instrumental in how children behave and act.
Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD believes teens need role models who will keep them from harm’s way. While many adults believe they need to cultivate a growth mindset in youth, it’s actually more of a prevention mindset that will help them live a successful, happy life.
No matter where we go in life, there will always be people and situations that will attempt to cloud our judgement. It’s the prevention mindset that will save us from making the wrong choices.
Biologically, teens approach life not wanting to deal with bad or tough situations. They have an inner need to prevent disasters or negative outcomes. This inner need motivates them to seek role models who will help them avoid those situations.
Being a role model that will help teens understand how to approach difficult life situations and solve them is what will give them the knowledge and skills they need to be successful. It’s not only about pushing youth to strive for their best, but it’s also teaching them how to avoid the circumstances that could keep them from achieving their goals.
The adults of tomorrow need us to help them become the people we need them to be someday. Be present, give them the support, guidance, and comfort they need now, so they can someday give us the same in return when we may need them to do the same for us.