Every child needs a role model. However, over the years, young people’s options for good role models are becoming limited, as drugs, alcoholism, and bad choices are plaguing celebrities, athletes, and people in the public eye.
Young people naturally watch others and learn from them. They may learn how to treat others, how to dress, how to work hard, how to not give up, and how to be successful. Celebrities, athletes, relatives, teachers, and classmates can all be role models for our young people.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
So what happens when so many athletes are now taking performance enhancing drugs? How do our teens learn to try their hardest in sports, but accept their abilities as they are and not try to artificially boost them with drugs? How do our kids learn how to work hard, save their money, and stay away from drugs when so many child stars get swept away by a life of partying and drugs?
Lindsay Lohan is again in the media for her lack of control when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Just when we think maybe she will finally get it together, she relapses, or it becomes clear that she was never sober at all. Paris Hilton has recently joined the ranks of Lindsay with her cocaine possession charges, and many other stars have had their place in the spotlight recently for drug and alcohol abuse.
Learn What Not to Do
Who can our kids look up to? Maybe they can actually learn a lot from Lindsay and Paris; like how not to act. They can learn from celebrity addicts what a struggle this way of life is, and how completely drugs and alcohol can grip people. They can learn how people can lose everything: money, friends, family, reputation, and career when they get involved with substance abuse.
Parents as Role Models
Young people do need a positive person to learn from and admire. There are celebrities and athletes that work hard to be a positive role model for kids. But research actually shows that teens look up to their parents for guidance much more often than we might think. Parents don’t always give themselves enough credit, but here’s a fact: Your kids are watching you, and are modeling themselves after you. Don’t let them down. It is the parents’ job to first of all teach their kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and then help them develop ways to stay away from substance abuse. It is also the job of parents to model good behavior for their kids. Parents can show drug-free habits, and help their kids learn the importance of hard work, kindness, and a healthy lifestyle.