Role Modeling


Theresa is a stay at home mom to three children. She spends her days busily taking care of activities, food, the house, and the children. By the end of the day, she is exhausted. Her children participate in soccer at the YMCA, have outings to the park every weekend to play with friends, and walk to and from school. She has noticed lately that her kids are less excited about participating in these activities. They complain that they would rather watch TV or play video games. That there is nothing else fun to do at home.

When you discuss role modeling in your class, you see a flash of realization occur to her. Perhaps there is another way to encourage her children to be active. She really does not like to move, and relaxes by watching TV. But, she asks you for some suggestions on ways to role model a more active life.

What might be some of your suggestions?

Overview: "Do As I Say, Not As I Do"

"Do as I say, not as I do" is a common saying uttered by parents across generations. While it is much easier to tell children how to behave than to behave correctly ourselves, research shows that children are much more likely to copy behaviors they see than those they are instructed to use. This means that parents' own behaviors play a key role in their children's development. Children learn how to behave and act by just watching the adults around them. In fact, many of the behaviors children demonstrate are the same as their parents or other adults who care for them.

Coordination among all the adults in a household is important to support the lessons parents desire to pass on to their children. Having adults who all behave according to the same set of rules helps to deliver clear messages about appropriate behavior. But getting everyone on the same page can be a challenge. Adults each have their own value systems that may not always align with one another. However, when it comes to making changes to children's behavior, changing the behaviors of the whole family unit can result in the most effective and lasting changes.

Nutrition Educator Training

Read the Scenario at the top of this page.

Then read through the materials on Role Modeling: Overview, Application, and Tips.

Note the Additional Resources (but you do not need to read them all at this time).

Please RIGHT CLICK the link below and select "open in a new window".

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