Good Role Modeling Helpful, But Not Required
Reading Time: 2 minutes
By: Lisa Cavallaro – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
A recent USA Today article title assumes the Twitter battle between President Trump and former VP Joe Biden might hurt anti-bullying efforts. I disagree.
Sure, some kids (and adults) are going to look at the trash tweeting and think, “Hey, if these two powerful and successful men are doing it, then it must be okay. This is what we’re all supposed to do. Not only should I insult people and talk about physically hurting them, but I should also speak and tweet it out loud for the entire world to hear.”
Honestly, I think most kids (and adults) are smarter than this. Some may be entertained by the tweeting class clowns. Others are disgusted by their behavior. Few are surprised, but wonder about the ramifications of role model behavior on kids.
While it makes sense believing kids will emulate the behavior of their role models, we have to acknowledge the fact that kids also have a keen sense of judgment and intuition. While they absolutely are the impressionable sponges we know them to be, they’re also more discerning than we give them credit for.
The best thing about this Twitter battle is it supplies adults with plenty of really good bully material to talk with kids about. Without imposing our opinions on the kids, we can ask them what their gut tells them about things like: threatening other people; threatening others in public; calling people names; adults bullying other adults; who they consider their role models to be; etc.
Without imposing our opinions about the two Twitter battlers, it would be a good idea to talk about the choices we have when we hear people see (or write) things about us. We can believe it OR NOT. We can think what the tweeter/speaker says is true about us OR we can recognize they’re just trying to get a reaction from us. How we respond is totally up to us! Emphasizing the choice they have in all situations is important for kids to hear.
Another benefit of this Twitter battle is it gives us a chance to talk to kids about confident ways to respond to bullies without engaging in the battle… a way to demonstrate confidence by speaking up, and doing it with style.
Parents and teachers working to help kids create confidence can do a world of good just by asking kids questions, and then listening without judgment. Giving kids an opportunity to safely explore and express their thoughts and feelings about current events is the best thing we can do with role model behavior that screams “Don’t try this at home. You’re better than this!”
So, parents and teachers… it’s all good. Great role models make our jobs easier. But in the face of not-so-great role modeling, we find truly awesome learning experiences. Both work when it comes to helping kids create confidence.
Confluence Daily is the one place where everything comes together. The one-stop for daily news for women.
Lisa Cavallaro, The Confidence Coach, is an LOA Coach with a solution-focused spin on bullying. She helps parents leverage Law of Attraction to raise kids who are self-confident and have a positive outlook toward peers, school and life. Lisa is the author of No More Drama and ADHD The Natural Way.