Like it or not. You are your teenager’s role model. Your teenager’s role model is not a celebrity in the movies or on TV. It’s not your child’s favorite football, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf or tiddlywinks star. It’s not some multi-billionaire businessman or woman. Or the President of the United States.
It’s not their favorite teacher. Or the coach that taught them to always play hard and do your best. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles may greatly influence your teen, but they’re not the number one role models. It’s not even your family pastor, priest, or rabbi.
You are your teenager’s role model
Now your teenager may say, without hesitation or reservation, something like, “My parents taught me how to behave and right from wrong, but I really grew up when I had to leave our home and live on my own.” And that may be 100% true. But your children learn a lot more from you than they or you even know.
Very few people seek help outside their family when problems and tragedy happen. Not even with a close friend, clergy, teacher or counselor. Most just accept tragedy as part of life. Furthermore, they put it in their past and continue living their life as they always have.
Tragedies include the death of a parent, sibling, relative, friend. Or parent’s divorce, dad or mom just up and abandons their family. One parent or both lose their job, can’t find another or never even have one. Dad’s on drugs, Mom’s an alcoholic. A baby is born not knowing his or her father. Think of even more. They’re many more tragedies.
Furthermore, day-to-day problems occur, well you might say everyday problems. Mom and dad argue about everything. Including not making enough money to pay all the bills and put food on the table. Also, Aunt Mary’s continuing to interfere and meddle in your family affairs. And dad not helping around the house. Or basic relationship issues, “Why didn’t you tell me you’d be late tonight? Dinner’s ruined.” Most of all, raising the children. While dad’s too tough on them. Mom’s too lenient. Or mom’s the disciplinarian while dad’s busy with work and defers to mom. Even, “Just wait until your father comes home.”
What stands in the way of you being your teenager’s role model?
You. You refuse to change. You’re stubborn and you know you’re right about everything. Or on the opposite side of the spectrum, you’re an absent parent. You may physically be present but that’s about all. You mentally in Neverneverland. I’ve been told many times I use this analogy all the time. I had two courses in high school on how to drive a car. Classroom and behind-the-wheel. That’s two more than I had on how to be a husband or father.
Today chose to change and be your teenager’s role model.
Stop doing the same old thing. Start doing the next right thing. Tell your spouse and children you want to change and be a better spouse and parent. Ask them to tell you three things they want you to change about you. They may be shocked beyond belief. But follow up with, “I want to change because I love you.” If you’re like me, I yearn for the day I hear my daughters say, “My dad had his faults, but he’s the one person I come to when I have a problem. He’s my role model.”