There has been a LOT of discussion over the years concerning this term and exactly WHO and WHO IS NOT to be considered a role model. On the podcast I shared the controversy that surrounded Charles Barkley when he said that he was not, and should not be considered, a role model. This actually happened in 1993 and not in the late 70's or early 80's as I mentioned. (Wow, time DOES fly by!)
I agree with Mr. Barkley when he says that parents should raise their kids and not him, but, like it or not, he was still a role model. Tiger Woods - like it or not - is/was a role model. LeBron James (and the list can go on and on) is a role model whether he wants to be or not.
Some of these athletes, musicians and actors DO realize the huge impact that they have on our young people and they do try to conduct themselves in a way that shows this - but even they make mistakes!
We, as parents, have been a part of this problem. If you haven't done so, go back and listen to yesterday's podcast and read the blog for my discussion of our "Misguided Hero Worship". WE - as parents - must help our children, as they grow, to truly understand and realize who the real heroes are and who the people are that they should actually look to emulate.
People WILL disappoint! People WILL make mistakes! That's just a fact of life and we can use situations like this (the discussions for this week) to help our children and teens understand this. Hey, they will be disappointed in us sooner or later as they begin to get to the age that mom and dad aren't perfect!
Now, if I am going to rant about something on this topic, here it is: The people that claim that they aren't a role model and that they don't want to be a role model yet market themselves to be attractive to young people in order to sell their products. Many of these people will tell you that, yes, they are trying to influence the thinking of our young people - but they don't want to be role models?
YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS!
Here's the thing - we are ALL role models to someone or to a lot of people. Scary, huh? But it's true. Yes, if you have children, you are their role model whether they tell you that or not and whether you want to be or not. It just comes with the territory!
Even when you think your kids/teens aren't listening to you - THEY ARE! Even when you think that your kids/teens aren't watching you - THEY ARE! You can be sure of that.
So, what should we take away from this week's discussions?
1. All of us, famous or not, need to take responsibility for our mistakes and stop making excuses. Remember, for every night there is a morning after! Know that and be prepared to face the consequences when we choose to make unwise decisions.
2. We all need to stop saturating our lives with the media's overkill on any and every subject. Is it really profitable for us to spend THAT much time listening and watching this stuff?
3. Let's all pay attention to and honor the REAL HEROES that surround us everyday and not allow the media to get our attention off of these people. Just because someone is famous and/or rich does NOT make them a hero!
4. Be a role model and help your children pay attention to those people around them that are appropriate role models for them. Again, just because someone is famous and/or rich does not mean that they are someone to emulate.
Again, all of this comes down to a choice - OUR CHOICE on what we allow into our homes and our heads. It's up to YOU to control this and to help teach your children this value for their own lives.
Think about it and...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"