Essay on Childhood, Children and Role Models

Essay on Childhood, Children and Role Models

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The term ‘childhood’ is often difficult to define as it is a social invention. It is not possible to find a definite definition of the word childhood without taking into consideration ‘context of childhood’. This means, that childhood may not be valued in every part of the work and so defining it by the cultural expectations towards being a child. When trying to define childhood in your own words, you will often come up with many different result which reflect information from your own experience of childhood. It would be extremely difficult to come up with a definition that can define all young people’s childhood. UNICEF (2005) suggested ‘Childhood is the time for children to be in school and at play, to grow strong and confident with the love and encouragement of their family and an extended community of caring adults. It is a precious time in which children should live free from fear, safe from violence and protected from abuse and exploitation.’
‘A role model is a person whose serves as an example by influencing others. For many children, the most important role models are their parents and caregivers’ (AACAP,2011). Children look up to many different ‘role models’ and the models they choose may indicate how they react to schooling, relationships or when making difficult decisions. Children may often try to imitate the appearance and behaviour of those in the media, such as entertainers, athletes, music artists, movies and videos games.
Aristotle’s idea of virtual ethics relies solely on the effect role models have on people. He believe that a huge part of role models is modelling the behaviour of someone moral. Through continuous modelling we become virtuous almost accidently. People can choose to learn both bad and good habi...

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... doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.83.4.854

McGraw,P (2004) Adjusting to Parenthood. Available at: (Accessed: 22 March 2014)
McLeod, S. A. (2011). Bandura - Social Learning Theory. Retrieved from
Norton, C. (2000) ‘Media blamed for rise in eating disorders’, The Independent, 31 May.
Metro News Reporter (2012) ‘Celebrity role models can help inspire a generation’, The Metro, 30 August.
Pleiss, M.,& Feldhusen, J. (1995) ‘Educational psychologist’, Mentors, Role models, and Heroes in the Lives of Gifted Children, 3, p59-69. DOI:10.1207/s15326985ep3003_6
Theodosiou, B. (2012) ‘Celebrity Influences and Their Negative Impact on Today's Youth’, reneweveryday,
United Nations Children's Fund (2005). Available at: (Accessed: 22 March 2014)

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