COLUMN: Bad role modeling vs. poor parenting

Editorial Board / Washburn Review

With scandals breaking like Tony Hawk’s newest divorce, it is easy to crucify celebrities for being bad role models. They are public figures, but seriously, should we really hold them to the expectation of being role models for our children?

Is it because so many parents rely on their children to be raised by TV screens? As children, most of us had parents who regulated how much TV we could watch and how much playing time we could have on our video games. Not too long ago, we spent the majority of our time outside and away from the magazines and celebrity gossip shows.

Parents and guardians should be children’s biggest role models, hands down. However, it doesn’t seem like this is the case any longer. Still, more kids are affected by the mistakes of their parents than the mistakes of a celebrity. There may be a misconception that if a celebrity does something, then kids will automatically think it is OK. In some cases, this may be true, but good parenting prevents that. If children are around their parents’ influences more than celebrity popularity scams, they are unlikely to be sucked in.

Gossip magazines are relatively geared towards the adult population, and it is questionable if the people religiously reading these magazines take the time to make sure they are being a good example for their kids. Many people cheat on their spouses and hide it. Once Tiger Woods does it, everyone wants to point fingers to celebrities about why the culture is deteriorating.

As technology continues to advance, parents should be aware of the video games and electronics kids are involved in. Back in the day, you had a controller with a few buttons and grainy graphics. Now you have realistic game play with children acting as the shooter in violent games. The controllers can imitate anything from a fishing pole to a weapon, and it’s more important than ever for parents to moniter what their children are doing for entertainment.

Parents can’t do everything right, but we should all take the time to think about what we could do to make ourselves better.