I come from a really large Irish Catholic family. One of my earliest memories is me standing in the middle of a bunch of really loud people who were much bigger than me and looking up……
We live in a world of instant information, news 24/7, smart phones, texting, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, blogging....seriously I could go on and on.
Imagine being a kid today being inundated with all types of faces, personalities, athletes, the lure of money, having all types of people to emulate and all of them perspective role models. It really must be difficult to be a kid growing up today. Now imagine having to turn away from all that glitz and glimmer and see your own parent, grandparent, godparent or teacher/coach or pastor and really “get” that they have value to your life and future as a role model; not easy I imagine.
It must be even harder to be that parent keeping your child in check, keeping him or her grounded with all that distraction. Do you find this a challenge as a parent?
When I was a kid Mom would go to the front door and yell out…. Jeeeenifer and I'd know it was time to stop whatever I was doing with my friends and head home for lunch/ dinner or for the day. I'd be outside with my friends all the time TV was something I rarely watched. Maybe in the evenings I’d catch a bit of tube with my Nana. TV and radio and records were basically the extent of media and entertainment back in my day. I don't recall actually ever considering any one actor, athlete or musician as a role model. I realize now I was lucky that I didn’t have the temptations kids have today so I didn’t have to make those difficult choices.
I actually was blessed in life to have three very special role models, my Mom, my Nana and my Godmother my Aunt Frances; three strong and steady presences in my life throughout my life. I was the only girl one of three children so my relationship with my Mom always solid, never wavering. Even now we share a special bond; she's the person I speak to every day about everything and anything, my confidant, my next door neighbor and closest female friend. Then there was my Nana. We went to Mass together, we baked together, sewed together, crocheted and knitted together, we took walks, and there is hardly a memory of my childhood that she isn't in. And then my Godmother my Aunt Frances, she had a way of making a person (namely me!) feel special, and when you're a kid there is nothing more important than that. Heck, she made me feel that way as an adult too, she really was an amazing woman.
Now a day, we communicate by "throwing” texts, since most every kid has a cell phone, at least most kids I know do. I text with my grandchildren and nieces and nephews, seriously! Now we communicate by using e-mail or twitter because it's more convenient we rarely even pick up the phone anymore. Let’s not lose our sense of family in all that technology please!
And that gets me back to my original point regarding role models for our kids.
I'm afraid that many kids today are losing those traditional role models [parents, grandparents, godparents, teachers, coaches, and clergy] and are choosing role models who are movie stars, musicians and athletes. While some may be worthy as role models many are poised to fall off the pedestal kids tend to put them on. Many have amazing talent and they wow our children and even us with those abilities. What concerns me is this...what happens when they fall off that pedestal I mentioned due to general bad behavior, excessive drug or alcohol use, criminal behavior and the like. What about our children then?
So tell me folks, is this a matter of concern for you? Who are your children's role models or if you don't have kids who were your role models when you were a young?
Till next time Jen