Dr. Lynda's

Mini-Essays

The Role Model

My 8-year-old eyes look out onto the world, my 6 year old ears listen intently – for this is how I learn. You see, I am not in control of what I learn; I am dependent on the adults around me. They will shape what I take in, how I feel, what I think about others, what I value, how I treat people and what is most important in my life. Just think of that power – it is so immense, so critical. It builds the soul of my little being and can take me on journeys of grace, love and happiness but also down the path of prejudice, hate and dishonesty. Every adult influences the makeup of a child. Some have greater ability to do so – a parent, a teacher, a coach, a minister, an aunt or uncle, even the President of the United States.

My childhood ears and eyes take it all in. I can learn to trust or not to trust, to expect love or to expect abuse, to value kindness or to value only myself, to be helpful or to be helpless, to be respectful or to demean and disparage others. This tremendous power is a gift but also an immense responsibility. Remember this whenever you are with a child or when children’s eyes and ears are open to learn from you. Remember this when your child is exposed to others who have power to influence them. For you are in control of the future adult-child and the path this child will take throughout life. This is real power – use it wisely.