Athletes and entertainers should be good role models, but the effect they have on our children is minimal. Kids may want their favorite athlete’s shoes or jersey, but that’s about it. They don’t walk around acting like LeBron, Steph or Tom Brady and the reason for this is obvious: Our kids don’t know LeBron, Steph or Tom Brady.
Our kids look like us, walk like us and talk like us. They use our vocabulary – everything from the sane to the profane. If you use four-letter words around your kids, your favorite will become their favorite. Sorry, but it’s not the rappers. It’s us. Think about all the times you’ve caught your child looking directly into your mouth as you talk to someone else. They’re recording everything and trust it will be played back when you least expect it.
Today’s adults complain about kids and the way they behave. Kids see us yelling at officials and coaches. They see us curse other parents and complain constantly about the cost of athletic programs. Kids see us not taking responsibility for being late or being ill-prepared. Not only are we incapable of apologizing, we get offended if anyone suggests we did anything wrong.
Kids pack up our negative behaviors and take them to school, practice and competitions. We then open our mouths with the familiar refrain, “I don’t know where (my child) got that from! We don’t do that in my house!”
None of that is true and we know it. If we want to change our children’s behavior, we need to start by changing our own.