Modeling: Did you know you are a model?

By: C.Q. Wilder, M.Ed

July 15, 2014

Did you know that you are a model? You might not be in the next Vogue Magazine however, you are modeling everyday. For whom you may ask? You are your child’s and families model. What you do has a direct impact on your children and family and your demeanor and attitude could make a positive or negative impact on their lives.

Modeling has been around forever! Models who walk in NYC, London, and Paris have been taught how to walk, how to keep their face calm, and how not to fall. They practice daily on their walk so they won’t fall down and they also practice so they can “model” correct modeling postures so they can get hired for another show.

This is the same idea when it comes to modeling positive behaviors for your children or family. When you use positive talk, positive interactions, and have a calm demeanor, your child or family will respond the same way. However, if you are cursing at your child, having negative interactions, and angry all the time, you are modeling negative behaviors that your child and family will pick up on and become “trained” to do the same thing. I have seen so many children come into my classroom cursing, yelling, hitting and showing aggression and the first thing I think is,  “I wonder where they saw that behavior modeled?”

T.V. can also be a positive or negative model. There are great programs that model ideal family homes, positive conversations, and the use of standard English. However, just the same as modeling negative behavior, T.V. is one of the biggest examples of how something that can be used for good, could also model bad things. There might be fighting, killing, cursing, and other harmful acts, but your child and family are learning these “negative” behaviors and will show how they “modeled” what they learned. The seed has then been planted.

So remember, others notice your positive and negative behaviors. You are your child’s hero so how you act, they will try to mimic. Using positive compliments and interactions shows that you can have positive moments which will then encourage your child to do the same. However, if your cursing, fighting, or doing anything negative, don’t be surprised if your child begins to model that same behavior.

Finally, the goal for the next generation is to do better than the generations before. If you only graduated high school, a goal for your children should be to graduate college. If you had a negative experience in school, the goal for your children should be that they have a positive experience. Modeling positive or negative behavior will directly impact your family, their future, and their actions. Make a conscious choice to always act positively because just like a model walks down the catwalk in NYC, all eyes are always on you!