We all know that as a child you are at your most vulnerable and impressionable age. While they are learning and experiencing new things they are actively taking in anything and everything around them. A child will copy or imitate any behavior they see as they have no other option than to believe that this is the normal and correct way to act. A child is also blessed with having that innocence to behave in the exact way they feel at the exact time they wish to feel it. This is an act of impulse and not an act that they have necessarily observed. This can sometimes be to an adult’s dismay, especially if they see fit to show they are angry by throwing a bag of crisps across an aisle in a supermarket, or sing at the top of their voice because they are happy during a 4 minute silence. For this reason it is important to understand a child’s behavior and learn when a child is doing wrong because they are imitating an act they have observed as opposed to when they are behaving badly as they are expressing themselves and have not yet learnt the right and wrongs. This would imply then that once a child knows right and wrong they can change and develop their behavior to reflect their environments. For this reason it is important that they are surrounded with both positive and beneficial influences. There are many methods of impressionable forms for a child including parents, siblings, relatives, other children in school, other children in the neighborhood, teachers, other adults, characters in television programs, characters in films, cartoon characters, celebrities in the media, virtual people in computer games and characters in books, just to name a few.
Obviously in most cases the child’s parents are the first form of positive learning. A child will copy a parent eat, drink, cover their mouth when they cough, clean their teeth, say sorry when they do something wrong and clean up when they make a mess. They can also learn valuable lesson from their parents like to get straight up and try again even when you’ve fallen over, learn to read, potty training, learn to share, learn what is right and learn what is wrong. It would be perfect if every parent was a perfect role model and there were no other inflicting factors to ruin all the perfect parents’ hard work. But we all know this isn’t the case. We know that other factors can change the good the parent has done during the early stages. A child can learn naughty things at school from other children, they can see or hear about their favorite celebrities fighting, they can see adults arguing in the street and see the violence in the computer games. They may now deploy these bad habits and copy these behaviors instead of continuing the great values taught to them by their parents. This is a great shame. For this reason it is important that right through childhood and adolescence there is an access to good role models as well as their parents. This will create a greater quantity of positive values to counteract the mass amount of negative things that we as adults know surround them.
We also know that unfortunately not all children get the initial values installed in them by perfect parents. But we should not be giving up on these children just because they haven’t had the perfect upbringing. Because no matter what some people might say, temperaments can change with the right learning source and with the right encouragement a child can be inspired to live fulfilled and positive lifestyles. Sadly some children copy parents who have shown them that it is ok to use violence in order to achieve something. They can be taught that it is ok to steal, to drink alcohol under-aged, that it is ok to act badly and treat people in a way. Which is a great shame and not a necessarily a child’s fault. There have been case studies that with the right role models a child can learn good behavior that differs from what they have previously been shown. They now live actively, helping others and reaching their full potentials productively and with great values and attitudes.
This is not to say that a child acting badly is only a result of a bad upbringing as some children are just naughty or suffer with medical problems such as ADHD. But the use of a good role model in all cases would be beneficial regardless of a child’s upbringing as a child will change and develop through their own learning as they grow, explore and develop. For example I myself have parents that both smoke and where as when I was younger I may have imitated holding a cigarette to my mouth to act like my mum, I now know that it is unhealthy, unsociable and certainly something I wouldn’t want to do. I have formed this judgment by other factors through my own learning and not my parents. That is why it is important that a child, a parent, a teacher or another child recommends a good influential person to act as a role model in a child’s life. It is also important to understand that we as humans can make mistakes, which is why it isn’t always beneficial for a real person to be the only role model. Where as I personally quite like Jordan and appreciate her business and family focus, is it wise to let your child find a role model in her. Should a child look up to Victoria Beckham she may be a great mum and another business woman, but is promoting that beauty in being stick thin and having unhealthy diets a great way to teach your child to be. Is it wise that a child looks up to Lindsey Lohan in her many roles in children’s films including Freaky Friday. When she is actually a misled lady involved in binge drinking and drugs?
The answer to this is no, they shouldn’t be role models. Where as these people may not be bad people they are not what we would want our children to think is normal and acceptable. This is why I am recommending the use of a book or another form of children’s literature as a basis for role models. The reason for this is because I find that having the written word and illustrations a child can go back to it when ever they wish. They can never get let down by the character as they will not be able to loose there way as they will always be at the writers hand. There will never be an opening for any mistakes to be made and the wrong ideals will never be portrayed. I hear you say that surely it is important for a child to understand that it is ok to make mistakes and you can still be a good person in those cases. I do agree and hear what you are saying but surely it is important to do the ground work first and let life show a child that as they get older. At least with a book there will always be that confidence and only positives can be achieved.
So how do you choose a good role model for your children? There are many books and literature available for children with all kinds of angles, themes and all kind of characters. Through my extensive research of the development of children through literature, I have come across a lady called Angela Buck who has written an amazing book called The Magic Sunglasses. As well as being an amazingly influential book she has also developed an ongoing interactive project in order to inspire the values within the book on a larger level.
Angela Buck, who writes under the name of Auriel Blanche understands children and their need for a positive role model. Her overall ambition is to connect and empower children on a global scale. Within her creative and innovative writing she inspires children to appreciate their self worth and to live happy and emotionally healthy lives. She engages children through her stories to use their imaginations to explore their dreams and to reach with in for their personal powers and specialties. She encourages children to live with respect for others and act with good manners and healthy attitudes.
With many grandchildren herself Angela wanted to create a character a child could relate to and learn from. She understood that there were so many negative factors influencing children that it was important to offer a character that was positive in every way. A child that could make mistakes and sometime live in her imagination but deep down was a good and well mannered child with only the best intentions. For this reason she created the amazing Samantha.
Throughout the book Samantha is always polite and friendly. She is playful and imaginative. She enjoys making her dreams come true and strives to reach her potential. She is a happy child, enthusiastic and charismatic. She is respectful of others and through self discovery learns how to cope with the challenges she faces with optimism and self worth. All of which are attributes that a role model should inspire to give.
Through experience Angela could see that children learn in so many different ways, each child differs to the next. One child can be told the best way to act and behave and do so as they are taught. Others behave as they see fit through observation and copying what they see. For that reason one child may act as they are told by Samantha but others will copy how she deals with each problem. This benefits both ways of learning and therefore of great use to every child. The Magic Sunglasses is a fun fantasy story with a strong inspirational theme, designed to both entertain and stimulate children to think – and discover that each one of them has a special value, a power all their own, which they can use to feel good and to help achieve any dreams they may have and live happier satisfying lives. Samantha, the main character in the book, starts as a shy little girl who dares to dream that she too can be successful. And when she finds the Magic Sunglasses on a market stall at the Saturday market- her whole life changes. After many amazing adventures, while all the time being guided and supported by the wonderful power of the Magic Sunglasses, Samantha realises that she doesn’t need the sunglasses anymore, as she has learnt to develop and rely on the special power within herself. It is time to pass them on now – so they can help someone else with their special dream.
Samantha is 9 years old and therefore relative for a child from 7 to 12. She is a plump girl therefore showing you do not need to be a tiny size 6 to be a super model or a star. It is well known that the fashion industry and celebrities in the public eye cause a lot of body image issues even within children. This has sadly caused eating disorders, depression and anxiety to a lot of children. Samantha being slightly plump should help this issue and show you can be pretty and happy without being what the fashion industry would try to have us believe.
Samantha doesn’t just end with the book, Angela has created an interactive website where a child can on-goingly retrieve information via daily diary entries and letters from Samantha posted on the site. They can also become a member and speak to other children on the live chat room to discuss issues and relate the positive things they are doing themselves. They can also tell others and Samantha their own achievements and attend the ongoing workshops that will be in their local areas.
Samantha gives many good examples that the reader can emulate and learn from and is therefore a great role model. It would be nice if we could be content with the role models closer to home? But we know that it is not an ideal world and sadly this is not always the case. For this reason we are lucky that so many talented authors understand the importance of a child’s development and the need for role models within their literature. For children who are lucky enough to have great role models there is definitely no harm in having another just to enforce the ideals we wish upon our children.
So please if you have a child please introduce them to Samantha. Have a look yourself at Angela’s website – http://www.themagicsunglasses.com
or contact myself at,