Role Modeling

On May 27th, 2011, posted in: Peaceable Classrooms, Peaceable Healing, Peaceable Living by

The parent geese and their goslings are enjoying a sim in the fire pond near my home.

One of my favorite rituals of spring is spotting a pair of Canada geese who nest on the side of a fire pond near my home.  Every year the pair returns to raise a new brood of goslings.  For me, it has become a welcome rite of spring to pass by and see them swimming in the pond or waddling in the tall grass munching on the tender blades.  I look forward to it and wonder how many years this particular pair has been springing here.

As I watch them, I notice how the little ones follow and copy what their parents are doing.  Their parents are modeling for them how to live in thier world.  So, too, do human parents model for their offspring.  That’s how children learn their roles in life.  But modeling does more than that.  Modeling can go beyond teaching gender roles.  It can provide your children with useful ways to deal with life’s challenges and with thier emotions.  It can help them maintain their sense of connection to something bigger than themselves as well.  It can be a gift you give to your children.

Assisting your children in learning how to transform their emotions is a wonderful gift.  For example, when you get upset, you might say in your child’s presence, ” I am really upset right now.  I think I better take a few deep breaths to calm myself.”  Or when you are exhausted and need a break, you might say, “I’m going to listen to some soft, quieting music before I start making dinner.  I need to relax a bit first.”  By expressing your state-of-being, you are modeling for your children when and what one can do to transform his/her feelings or physical state.  Hearing your explanations and watching your actions begins to register with them.  You can then suggest such practices to your children when you see that they are in need of quieting their mind/body/emotions.  Eventually, as they mature, your modeling of relxation and rejuvenation techniques will become integrated into thier beingness ready to be called up when needed.  They will be able to enjoly life more fully, interact with others more positively, and more easily reach their potential.

As parents, we are our childrens’ first teachers but not the only ones.  All adults who are charged with the care of children have the opportunity to be helpful role models in a child’s development into becoming an  independent, compassionate, caring, and self-sufficient adult.  When you help a child learn how to live in a relaxed and heart-centered way, you are helping the future of humanity.  What could be better!

Wishing you well,


Breathing techniques and music selections to help you relax or rejuvenate can be found in my book Creating the Peaceable Classroom.

Hobblebush Books






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