Role Models, Modeling What?

Role models are everywhere. Are we aware of who our children are idolizing? What they are being taught?

As we progress throughout the lifespan, so do our role models.

When I was little I idolized cats. I didn’t have a cat but I adored them through pictures and wall calendars. I eventually moved onto princesses, Strawberry Shortcake, Powerpuff Girls and Power Rangers because they were capable of the impossible. In high school, I moved onto actresses and musicians. They looked so cool and showed me how to dress and behave.

I think the importance of goals regardless of judgement is that it gives us something or someone to look up to. It shows us how they did it so hey, we can too, right? Thankfully, I developed other goals with futuristic importance during middle school which significantly helped fuel my academic career. What about kids that don’t have that? What if their role models are only through media?

Let’s also consider the variable of screen time in the life of a typical American child. It is significantly more hours, more days, and younger and younger ages of initiation. Technology has boomed in recent decades and children consume programs, whether it’s TV, YouTube, social media, video games… the list goes on. So, does technology consumption play a role in role models?

I feel that child ‘followers’ are modeling sexualized behavior that they find online. Some musicians claim that they are owning their sexuality but are they considering their impact on sugestible minds? I think back to what fierce women went through to get suffrage and equal rights. They fought, they marched, they even burned their bras in the name of the movement. Women are more than our bodies. We cannot force-feed a child a cherry-picked celebrity for our daughters to admire (Hello, Michelle Obama). What we can do is talk to our children about topics that they need instruction on.

PSA: We need to talk to them about sex! If they don’t hear it from you then Billy from the neighborhood will tell them his version. Yikes! YouTube influencers are now role models and advising kids of things they could be or should try. This is just a gentle reminder that we need to be parents. We need to teach them as much as we can in order to shoot them off into the world fully prepared. They need discipline and life skills at home in order to make it as adults. We do not need to be helicopter parents that bulldoze any potential obstacle out of the way. We also do not need to be living-in-denial parents that borderline neglect their children’s needs. It is great if we simply be there when a child fails and help them get back up. It is also great if our child is testing our boundaries that we would be able to recognize it and address it. We need to be present and curious to our childrens needs for attention, safety, and love. Childen can never have too many positive role models.

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Food For Thought

Running the Race of the Grad School

Are you a stressed out student?

Gradual –Graduate School

Currently, I find myself in my final two semesters of my master’s degree. While there are many spinning plates at this point, the pressure is coming from all angles and facets of my life.

As I juggle my internship, my clinical hours, my research assistantship, my child, my family, soccer practices and 8AM Saturday games, graduate courses and homework, preschool and preparing for VPK….I find myself getting a bit anxious. Believe it or not, I did not notice I was anxious until I started seeing the signs: forgetting things, rapid heartbeat while sleeping and dropping balls all over the place. However, I plowed on to make sure I presented at my state conference… When I came back up for air…it is already February. This month I am required to take my comprehensive exit exam to literally be permitted to graduate from my program. Also, as part of my application process into a doctoral program, I have my group interview next week.

What I have done about my stress, is to be compassionate towards myself when I haven’t quite hit the mark. I think about why I got frustrated or why I procrastinated something and forgive myself. I also try to learn from it and move on, no more harping on bad behavior. Right now, time management seems to be my area that needs improvement. I figured out as much as I can right now, so I will take deep breaths and be more cognizant of my daily schedule. Sometimes, adjusting one’s sleep is the easiest way to improve efficiency!

At this point, you may or may not be impressed at my level of busy. As I continue writing, I am also reflecting on how it is somewhat of a cultural norm to be considered successful based on how ‘busy’ we are. I encourage anyone who reads this to not compare or try to keep up with others. Stay in your lane. It is not the finish line that keeps me going, it is the journey that means the most. Real life happens in the journeys- NOT the finish line.

I try to be grateful for the abundance of the blessings that I have, for the journey that I’m on and to relish each day as a gift.

James McGreevey
Peace and Love

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7