It’s hard to find good teen role models these days. Most celebrity teens end up caught in a trap of drugs or alcohol, and if they do manage to escape that Hollywood destiny, they are stuck on themselves or more concerned with fashion than with what they can do to become a better person or help the world become a better place. So here’s my solution to this dilemma: YOU can be a role model. Yes, you! Look at all the young people in your life, siblings, cousins, neighborhood children, and purpose to become a great role model to them. Here’s 7 easy ways to get you started!
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A young teenage girl exuding confidence is a beautiful sight! Most adolescents these days are insecure and worry a lot about acceptance. If you want to be a great role model, take pride in what you do, your school, your job, and your relationships. Do your best on everything, and then trust that you did well. Others, especially young children, will pick up on that confidence and they will strive to have confidence too!
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No one wants to look unkempt and messy. So if you take no pride in your appearance, no one will want to be like you. Fix your hair nice and take a few moments to apply makeup in the mornings. You don’t have to wear designer clothes, but do be sure that they match and are all clean. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so your job is to make sure that they are beholding beauty!
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Be some one who is worthy of admiration. Volunteer your time to help others, no matter how small it may seem. You never know what it could mean to someone! Help an elderly neighbor plant flowers or grocery shop. Babysit for one of your mom’s friends. Help your brother wash his car. The possibilities of what you can do to be a help are endless! And better yet if you let your younger siblings tag along to see you in action!
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Always, Always, ALWAYS have a positive encouraging attitude when a younger person shares their dreams and expectations with you. Even if it’s not realistic or likely, the moment you cut them down or dash their dreams could be the moment they stop mentoring you. Offer them advice on tricky things, like what to do about “friend” problems, or the best after-school snack to get their brain power revved up for homework. Tell them funny jokes to share with their buddies!
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This is ultimately the very best way to get someone - but especially small children - to open up to you and “buddy up” with you. Do something together, anything at all. Go to the park, go get ice cream, have a water fight, offer to help finish homework, or take them shopping for school supplies. No matter how small or unimportant it may see to you, for your little friend it was the highlight of their day! And you will be their new “bestest friend ever”!
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You should always strive to be an example, but especially when you KNOW there are younger ones around. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol or use abusive substances. Use clean language and keep a respectful attitude, watch who you hang around with and the music that you listen to. If you don’t, you risk one or both of these possibilities: setting an obvious example that it’s “ok” to smoke or swear and/or risking turning siblings or neighborhood kids against you instead of to you.
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Everyone, at some point, needs to apologize. Even celebrities and country leaders! Nobody’s perfect, and if you have a little kid mentoring you, it’s important that they see you realize when your actions are wrong and do something about it. This will teach them humility, sincerity, and above all will strengthen their admiration for you for doing the right thing. Be the first to apologize in any situation for any little thing and you can feel good knowing that your helping to shape a little guys character!
Being a role model can be challenging, but it can also be fun and rewarding. Don’t beat yourself up if you do mess up and make a mistake, but do your best to set it right and not repeat it. It’s not having money or being famous and cool that makes a great role model. It’s your attitude and character and what you choose to do with your time and life that make a great role model!
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