Children are lucky if they can look back on their formative years and embrace memories of a good childhood with positive role models. How many of us can say we had good role models growing up?
I think a generation makes a big difference. Values change through the generations, through influences, through society. Outside influences bring change: both for the better and for the worse. Whether parents are good role models or not, what children learn, stays firmly etched in their psyche.
Teachers will influence children as will grandparents, people we hope will positively influence our children. But there will always be people who don’t make good role models. Families and institutions may not always make the best role models.
When it comes to parenting, we get one shot at making a difference, although we won’t know whether we’re successful or not, until our children are older.