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Honorable Role Models in Scarce Supply

 Honorable Role Models in Scarce Supply

Fun fact: Cheaters sometimes win. Take a look at the Russians getting to participate in the Olympics. Not very good for modeling sportsmanship to children, but parents are always having to explain bad stuff famous people say and do to their kids, right? So just add this to the list.

In addition to failing to represent good sportsmanship, it also undermined the message of “natural consequences” that parents expect their kids to learn from team sports. “If you cheat or lie, you’ll get caught and be kicked off the team.” And other things like, if you don’t do the work, you won’t likely finish well.

Steroids, doping and other means of gaining an unfair advantage (cough-deflate gate-cough) are more common than any parent would hope.

We’ve all learned to not EVER rely on stars (in music, film or sports) as role models for our little ones. Most are pretty lousy examples even for adults. They all seem to believe their own PR and that their pay checks and popularity give them golden privileges to say and do anything that crosses their minds. It doesn’t matter who’s watching or who will be imitating them.

Sleazy attire, X rated PDA, crude language, marital infidelity, hateful-snarky gossip on social media… those are common practices of celebrities, in addition to the lack of good sportsmanship that has left the building.

It’s very easy to start to slowly lower the bar of what you expect of kids, let alone what your own moral code is becoming. Sitcoms make us laugh at people being malicious to one another. Romantic comedies leave almost nothing to imagine when it comes to sex.

It sounds so admirable and lofty to say, “I’m unplugging the TV” or taking away your kid’s phone, but we all still live in this culture that is far less than pure. So what are some things you and I can do to detox and rise above the mess of bad role models?

  1. Read reliable reviews before seeing (or letting kids see) a movie. World Magazine is a great source.
  2. Look for ways to model integrity (let your kid know that when she turned six you had to start paying more for her ticket at the zoo…and NO, you won’t lie.)
  3. Find wonderful, positive role models and lift them up in front of your kids (and other adult friends). Watch for admirable behavior on and off the field (or stage).
  4. Don’t let yourself be seduced into admiring unholy people or indulging in unholy entertainment. This is for you, but also because your kids know more than you think, and you’re their most prominent role model.
  5. Watch movies and read books about athletes and other stars who have overcome great obstacles without cheating.
  6. Define honor and be purposeful to live an honorable life.

There may be a cesspool around you, but you (and your kids) don’t have to dive in the deep end. How do you do it?

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Authored By Diane Markins