Heros and Role Models – Do your kids really need them? Honestly?

Super Heroes. They wear tights. We all know tights run and snag. If you follow the news you already know that in real life (outside of parties) only cowardly weak minded terrorists wear masks. Yes, these guys in tights and masks are great for comic books but not for any real life applications.

Like the word “quality” and “guarantee” hero has almost come to mean nothing.

All teens are fans of something or someone. They follow bands and know every single detail of band members lives (including where they live, their girlfriends names, etc etc etc).

But the blind following of public heroes appalls me. So many of these “heroes” and “role models” especially sports stars are not fit to be heroes. They use drugs, break the law, and cheat on their spouses and the only reason they are noticed is because of good PR.

Kids get caught up in it and are encouraged by parents. STOP. Your child should look up to people he or she knows. It is the everyday that is so important and overlooked.

We can learn lessons from famous people but it has gone too far. I blame the media but I blame parents who get caught up in all of the drama and hero worship.

So what if your kid is disappointed in a public figure and is sad about it. Tell the to buck up and that the real world can be a harsh place. This would be a good lesson in choosing whom you idolize and what character really means. You can’t protect your child from everything and maybe you shouldn’t be.

A hero is someone who stands up for what they believe – unmasked and out in the open

A hero is someone who mentors and supports others.

A hero is real.

Heroes fart. They belch. They engage in sexual activity (sometimes in an actual relationship with someone they love). They get pissed off. The go over the speed limit. They get paper cuts. They accidently catch the cat’s tail in the door. They eat Cheetos and ham and at fridge door late night when nobody else is looking. They scratch their butts. They know all the words to Mandy by Barry Manalow. They do all the things we try not to think of them doing.

Why would any boy idolize Lance Armstrong more than he’d idolize his history teacher? The history teacher knows it isn’t about money or fame. History teachers rock. The media should make history teachers our new media stars – along with language, art, science and math teachers. Or how about the neighbor on the local Swat Team (talk about kick ass). How about your orthodontist. I admire him a lot more than I’d ever admire some attention grubbing football player (look everyone I can pray) or that guy who races bicycles. Kids should admire relief workers who go into the most horrible spots on earth to help in hopeless situations. Admire the guy who wins without cheating. Admire the guy with nothing to hide.

Tell your kids to admire the team of smart cookies who developed the smart phone I’m writing this post on. It is nothing short of magic.

Most of all TALK to your kids about who they choose as heroes and role models. yes, be a hero – talk to your kids and listen.

~ Juliette

15 thoughts on “Heros and Role Models – Do your kids really need them? Honestly?

  1. I just wish every parent of every child could read this. You say more in a couple of paragraphs than all of the parenitng and self-help books in the world. Thanks for sharing this and, with your permission, I’d like to send this to a few young parents who really need to read it.
    Also, thanks for visiting my site. It gave me the opportunity to return the favor. Like a lot of what you’ve written.

  2. Pingback: Heros and Role Models – Do your kids really need them? Honestly? « West Coast Review

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  4. Pingback: Heroes and Role Models – Do your kids really need them? Honestly? « West Coast Review

  5. Pingback: Heros and Role Models – Do your kids really need them? Honestly? | West Coast Review

  6. This is a really great post, with a lot of things to think about. Just a few quick impressions:

    I believe that “the hero” is an archetypal force – it isn’t going to go away. We’re going to tend to project it on someone, somewhere. When we’re young, I think hero worship can impel growth and maturity. Over time, with experience, I think the projections dissolve and hero worship becomes admiration.

    There are people I admire who I have met, historical people I admire, and fictional people I admire (say, Sidney Carton in “Tale of Two Cities” – “It is a far far better thing I do this day…” etc).

    In one sense, it doesn’t matter because we’re going to be telling ourselves stories one way or another. As you so clearly point out, our nature as “the storytelling animal” leaves us open to manipulation by those who would sell us degraded hero stories for their own ends and profit.

    I agree with the gist of your post, that ultimately, it is character, not deeds that are heroic. I know a Viet Nam Medal of Honor winner whose award winning actions were done on auto-pilot, adrenaline, and the simple desire to save his buddies. Several of his actions later seem more consciously heroic, a result of wrestling with his experience of war. He’s a high school teacher and doesn’t look a bit like Rambo.

    If I had to guess, I would say that probably the actions and people I most admire are born from compassion and selflessness, and concern for something greater than oneself – which as you say, rules out almost all of the media darlings…


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