Teenagers need to choose models, whether they are good or bad, whose behavior they copy. For a young person in training, who is trying to define his identity and a purpose in life, the role of the model is to help him identify the behaviors, attitudes and qualities he needs to succeed in life. The mass media and the Internet assiduously promote all kinds of celebrities, who quickly become models for young people.
Unfortunately, teenagers are the preferred audience for worthless stars and singers, actors who play in series productions or popular starlets, whose qualities are measured by the amount of botox injected into different parts of the body.
Because the role model they admire can have a significant influence on young people, it is important for parents to communicate openly and honestly with their children and possibly discuss together whether their example is worthy of being followed.
Here are some starting points for a possible conversation with your teen on this topic:
Talk to your child about the movies and series he watches, the music he listens to, and try to find out if he particularly admires someone – be it an actor, singer, vlogger or any other person. Find out what he likes, what attracts him to that celebrity. Suggest to your teenager that you watch an episode of your favorite series together or a concert with his favorite band or singer. Read something about them.
Talk in a relaxed tone about the lifestyle and behavior of the star chosen as a role model by your young man and listen to his opinion. It is important to know that if you are skillful and patient, you can make your child understand that even though the person they admire is extremely talented and well received by the public, this does not mean that they cannot make mistakes in life. personal or that it is not subject to error like any of us.
It is possible that the model of the teenager is not necessarily chosen from among celebrities. He can come from any social category and from any environment with which the young person interacts. It can also be a family member, a teacher, a coach or, often, an older colleague or friend. If he is a responsible person, who makes positive decisions, such a model can positively influence your child’s development.
Parents can be idols too
Last but not least, it is important not to forget that you will always remain one of your child’s role models! A study carried out 4 years ago by the School of Values, about the values and models of teenagers in Romania, revealed that 62% of young people considered their parents – or one of their parents – to be their main role model, 25%, other family members and less than 3% declared that their role model is a star or a public person, from the country or abroad.
The behavior of the parents gives the teenager a kind of pattern, according to which he configures his future. And young people respect adults who are consistent with themselves, who really do what they say. So, instead of telling him what is good and what is bad, it is more important to give him a model through your own behavior and your own values. Don’t forget that actions matter more than words, and a teenager already knows the difference between one and the other.
One of the most important mechanisms of adolescent learning is learning by modeling. Whether a certain behavior is acquired from the parent, or whether it is introjected from those around, the choice of the “model to follow” rests with the adolescent. If the parent is seen as a successful model (happy, accomplished, having a good life), there is a good chance that he will be the most frequently followed model. However, if what the teenager wants from life is very far from the parental model or if the teenager has accumulated a lot of resentment against his parents, he will look for models outside and will extremly disassociate himself from his own family.