by Elva Patterson Rutters RSSW
Role-modelling is often both a conscious and sub-conscious action. If you are in doubt what you are role-modelling to young children, simply watch them at play. They will demonstrate in their play what they have heard, or observed, you or other notable persons in their life doing! The games of “teacher, doctor, babysitter, parents” reveal more than you ever conceived absorbed by their minds! The violence, swearing, bullying, crass, drug use including getting drunk/high and other objectionable actions are played out. When you see love, compassion, and empathy mixed with gentleness and kindness, you know you are doing a great job role-modelling . It is quite embarrassing and humbling as you observe their vocabulary and tactics.
Regardless of your position of leadership, employment, nurturer, volunteerism, or neighbor, everything you say and do reflects your morals, opinions, and validation of your beliefs. Incongruency is easily spotted and duly noted. When belonging to a service club, or any organization, a mission statement is to direct your actions. Scouting/guiding reflect be prepared. Spiritual beliefs, as well, are best indicated in actions rather than words. When you “ring hollow”, or, in other words, contradict in action what you verbalize, you role-model controversy, contempt, and skepticism. Communication is 80% non-verbal and 20% verbal. Actions do speak louder than words.
What do you role-model? Are you willing to be held accountable for what you do or say? One day, as we stand before the Maker, we are held accountable for every iota of breath we take. Meanwhile, you are role-modelling to those around you, whether you know them or not. Listen to the vibes you give off. Are you genuine and consistent in philosophy? If you are resistant, cold-hearted, callous, self-centered, or self serving, perhaps some counselling will help break down the barriers you have built up. Fear to reach out for counselling signals an impasse itself. The biggest fear is fear itself.
Today is the day to do a turnabout, if your role-modelling needs some fine tuning to get it to an exemplary level. Only you can take that step!