"Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children."
- Walt Disney
Whitney Houston may have said it best when she sang, "I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside." That was from her 1986 song, "Greatest Love of All." It's a great reminder to us adults about the importance of raising children and teaching them to become responsible adults who will eventually be taking care of us. This is not just a message for parents, but also for teachers, coaches, aunts, uncles, neighbors and pretty much any adult who interacts with children.
Children look to their elders for examples on how to act and treat others. While much of a child's upbringing will come from their parents or whoever helped in raising them, children are sponges, and will take in whatever they are exposed to while developing into adults. Kids tend to incorporate a "monkey see, monkey do" mentality, which is how they pick up a lot of their mannerisms and behavior patterns. This is why parents can be weary of allowing their children to hang out with friends who may not be the best influence on their peers.
Modeling appropriate behavior in front of children is imperative if we want to make sure we are doing our part to help raise a generation who will grow up to take good care of us. Again, I'm not just referring to parents. This generation of children will eventually be running our governments and organizations. We are always setting an example for them, whether good or bad, or horrendous. There are already enough examples out there showing children how not to act or treat others. It should encourage each one of us to be a better example of a decent human being.
It should go without saying that we act like grownups around kids. Quite honestly, there are many grownups out there who could use a lesson on how to be a decent human being and act civil toward others. For any of us who look to help make the world a better place for all of us to live in, it's on us to set a proper example of how to do that. The more we pave the way for a more caring, kind and peaceful world by acting as such, the more caring, kind and peaceful world we all get to live in when today's youth is running the world and taking care of us. It's in our best interest to act accordingly.
Very Well Mind: Role Model the Behavior You Want to See From Your Kids
Education & Behavior: Do You Have These 4 Qualities of a Positive Role Model for Children?