With the media creating stars like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, kids' role models have considerably changed since I was young. I am glad I do not have little kids right now. It’s too hard to make sure they have the right influences. In my day, the kids who were on television were straight up kids. If they weren't, they were dumped. Nowadays, they’re given more salary.
The role models of my generation were talented, sweet, cute, and lovable like Shirley Temple, and plot lines for movies were moral. By contrast, the role models our current generation is growing up with are slime – entertainers, politicians and athletes included. It is all about getting attention and making money. That’s why you see so many videos on Facebook and YouTube of young people doing grotesque things because they think they will go viral and make them famous.
But before you abandon hope that your kids have no one to look up to, remember that they still have YOU.
YOU are the most important role model for your kids. If you keep your marriage together with love, affection and attention, that’s role modeling. If you talk about moral and ethical issues at the dinner table, that’s role modeling. By investing time and energy in your child’s life with the sole purpose of helping them with their future success (and not your ego), you become their role model. On the other hand, every minute of every day that your kids are with nannies, daycare centers and babysitters, you are not influencing them.
It is always important to be a responsible role model. Even if you have made mistakes in your past, that does not make you a hypocrite. A person who has matured, realized their mistakes and corrected them has more of a right to teach than almost anybody else. You learned from what you did, and you are passing on your knowledge to the next generation so they can learn from your mistakes.
Success isn't measured by money or how many people like you on Facebook. It’s measured by the people whose lives you make better. That's the only reason you matter. You have to live for somebody else, or your life has no meaning. That's how you influence your children. Do whatever you can to be a real role model for your child so they learn how to make the right choices.