Role models

It’s a Saturday afternoon and Daniel has insisted he wants to watch X-Factor.
We’re not an X-Factor house AT ALL so there is a degree of eye rolling and head shaking and muttering under my breath, but we switch it on and Dan sits down to watch.
I go out to make drinks and when I come back in Dan announces: “Cheryl Cole mum. Look at her. She looks a bit weird and is too orange.”
And then he switches it off.

I do an inward cheer and a lap of the living room with my arms in the air, then watch as he switches over to watch the Discovery Channel.
And then I woop. WOOP I tell you.

There are so so many inappropriate role models these days for children.
So bloody many.
Footballers who spend more time falling out of nightclubs than training and earning their overinflated pay packets, TV and movie ‘stars’ wrapped up in their fake public profiles. People who are famous for being famous.

My 5 year old wants to be the female version of Steve Backshall, the British children’s TV presenter and animal adventurer.
Sure she knows who Hannah Montana is but only because she’s heard her friends talk about her. She has no real interest in her at all.
To her Steve Backshall isn’t a celebrity, he’s just someone she greatly admires.
I know she’s only five and things could change in a heartbeat when she’s a pre-teen and everyone is giggling themselves into a frenzy over the latest non-sleb to grace whatever girls’ magazine is ‘in’.
But I’m hoping, really really hoping, that she bucks the trend and continues to have a mind of her own – which she is doing in SPADES at the moment!

As for my 8 year old son? He currently looks to England rugby players as his heroes. And Doctor Who.
And the people who are influencing him are the dads who give up their free time to coach his football and rugby teams – men who believe in playing sport because it teaches teamwork, respect, discipline, sportsmanship – and enjoyment.
I remember reading somewhere that ‘to become a good man, a boy needs to know good men’ and I wholeheartedly believe this to be true.

So I am hopeful, really hopeful that my two will look beyond the ‘role models’ being shoved in young people’s faces by whatever form of media you care to pick, and look for people who are truly inspiring.

Who do you hope will be role models for your children?

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