Children are lucky if they can look back on their formative years and embrace memories of a good childhood with positive role models in their lives. How many of us can say that we had the most amazing role models growing up?
I think a generation makes a big difference in terms of values, as it does to parents making good role models. Values change through the generations, through society, through outside influences and with those influences comes change and not always for the better.
Whether parents are good role models or not, what we learn from them stays firmly etched in our psyche. If we’re lucky enough to have two parents, both parents will contribute to the relationship, not necessarily together, sometimes sending out mixed messages as their children try to compete.
Teachers will go on to influence children too. Grandparents will also contribute and influence their grandchildren, anyone who we as parents hope has compassion and a caring nature, but of course there will always be those who don’t make good role models. Some families and institutions don’t always the best role models.
But when it comes to parenting, we get one shot at making a difference in our children’s lives. Unfortunately, we can never know until they’re through the other end whether we have managed to make a difference.