The idea of being a role model has been rearing it’s head lately due to our current political sideshow. As one candidate is being called a a crooked liar, the other is being called a racist, misogynistic elitist. People argue that these candidates for president are setting examples for our young. If the proverbial digestive waste floats to the top of the toilet bowl, then our children will favorably view that achievement and try to emulate it.
If your child is looking past you, the parent, and the familial village you created to surround your child for a role model, then the chain of command was broken somewhere and it needs to be fixed. Yes, if your child is a basketball player and admires the skills, work ethic, and achievements of Kobe Bryant, then that is fine. But if your child looks to Kobe Bryant as a role model in the sense that everything Mr. Bryant does is the way to be with no sense of self, then there is a problem.
A child needs to have an idea of who they want to be as they grow. The character building starts with the parents and the people who help raise your child (i.e. grandparents, aunts, uncles). A moral compass, common sense, education, and self awareness are the building blocks for a strong foundation for growth. Once a child has a strong foundation, then they are capable to look at athletes, entertainers, actors, and politicians more objectively. They can choose from the buffet of a person’s career without picking up a serving of misconduct that will create lifelong problems.