The mind of the children is like a clean slate. They tend to learn whatever they see. They find it difficult to stick to one thing and change the role model very fast. They get impressed and influenced quite soon and change decision. You will often find a child telling parents one day that he wants to be a doctor, the next day he wants to be a teacher and some day may like even to be gun toting criminal. These changes come with what he sees in life.
Parents are the first teachers of the child and he or she learns the most from them. The way he behaves with others depends upon the way he sees his parents behaving. If the parents are well cultured, the child will be cultured too, if they yell at one another or while in argument with friends, siblings or even with parents, the child will yell and try to prove his point. At this point the parents are his role model.
Next comes the turn of teachers from whom the child learns. When in school the child will learn a lot from the teacher and will at all times try to follow him. In school his fellow students will also be his role models. If he is in the company of ill mannered students who use abusive language and are not much interested in studies, the child will be quick to learn this language and behaviour. Similarly if the child listens to his parents using curse words, it is certain that even without knowing the meaning or consequences, he will use these words when with friends or others.
One day you may notice your child developing love for guns or he may start behaving in a strange manner, the simple reason will be exposure to television. He may have seen some action type movies where the hero picks up a fight with a large number of people, and there is a lot of fighting, firing and chasing. The child will make the hero his role model thinking that he is brave and is able to chase away and kill a large number of people. Beware and do not let your child watch such programmes. Instead make him watch some informative programmes which will help him learn something.
Up to a certain age the child is very fast to absorb what he sees around him so it is the duty of the parents to ensure that the child is placed in a conducive environment. Slowly when the child grows up and with development of understanding he will understand what to learn and what not to learn and who should be a role model.