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Resolving Conflicts In Relationships

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Focus on communicating well with everyone, not just your romantic partner.

Role Models and Responsibility

"Don't worry that children never listen to you. Worry that they are always watching you." -Robert Fulghum

The young are looking for living models who they can imitate and who are capable of rousing their enthusiasm and drawing them to a deeper kind of life. More than anything else, the young need sure guides to go with them on the paths of life that you as a parent or guardian map out for them. Role modeling is the most basic responsibility of parents.

Parents are handing life's scripts to their children, scripts that in all likelihood will be acted out for the rest of the children's lives. Whether or not you have children yourself, you are a parent to the next generation. If we can only stop thinking of children as individual property and think of them as the next generation, then we can realize we all have a role to play.

A Story of a Great Man

A troubled mother took her daughter to see Mohandas Gandhi, who was world-renowned for his great spiritual discipline. It seems the young girl had become addicted to eating sweets, and her mother wanted Gandhi to speak to her about this harmful habit and convince her to drop it.

Upon hearing this request, Gandhi paused in silence and then told the mother, "Bring the girl back to me in three weeks, and I will speak to her then."

Just as she was instructed, the mother returned with her daughter, and Gandhi, as he had given his word, spoke to the girl about the detrimental effects of eating too many sweets. He counselled her to give them up.

The mother gratefully thanked Gandhi, but was perplexed. "Why," she asked him, "did you not speak to my daughter when we first came to you?"

"My good woman," Gandhi replied, "three weeks ago I myself was still addicted to sweets!"

The best way to teach children restraint and generosity is to be a model of those qualities yourself. If your children see that you want a particular item but refrain from buying it, either because it is not practical or because you cannot afford it, they will begin to understand restraint. Likewise, if you donate books or clothing to charity, take them with you to distribute the items to teach them about generosity.

If you as parents cut corners, your children will too. If you lie, they will too.

If you spend all your money on yourself and there is no portion of it left for charities and civic causes, your children won't either.

And if parents snicker at racial and gender jokes, another generation will pass on the poison adults still have not had the courage to snuff out.

You are in charge of your feelings, thoughts, and actions, and you teach others how to behave toward you. While you cannot change other people, you can influence them through your own behaviors and actions. By being a living role model of what you want to receive from others, you create more of what you want in your life.

I think it's an honor to be a role model to one person or maybe more than that. If you're given a chance to be a role model, I think you should always take it because you can influence a person's life in a positive light, and that is what I want to do. That's what it's all about.

You don't have to know people personally for them to be role models. Some of my most important role models were historical or literary figures that I only read about and never actually met, but their work was an example to me.

The most important role models in people's lives, it seems, are not superstars or household names. They're everyday people who quietly set examples for you — coaches, teachers, parents. People about whom you say to yourself, perhaps not even consciously, "I want to be like that."

Some of the most important people in my life would be shocked to learn that they were role models. They were not celebrities, or even particularly accomplished. But they had some quality that I admired, that made me look to myself and to aspire to!

"Freedom to be is a hard won prize. Once we have won that prize there comes a realization. That with freedom comes responsibility, both morally and ethically that You are not truly free until all are free! That we are the bow from which our children as arrows fly from!" ~ Ange Fonce

I really appreciate it when people reply with thoughtful comments. Honestly, it makes my day and I will be glad to hear from you!

As always, leave a man or woman all the better for knowing you.

Average men and women know only the rules.

Masculine Men and Feminine Women know and are the EXCEPTIONS!

For Love, Passion and Intimacy...

Ange Fonce

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.

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