OPINION

Role Models Should Be Parents Not Athletes

Role Models

Has parenting become too hard? Has society today fostered a growth that this is not our problem? A resounding no will answer both of those questions in totality. Many parents must sacrifice their time for the betterment of their children but are we? According to a study by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange and reported by Marketingcharts.com, Americans age 18-64 who use social media (and who doesn’t) spend an average of 3.2 hours per day engaged in social media activities. Many of the same parents that feel rushed all time can find a way to update Facebook, snap away or tweet some instant yet frankly irrelevant goodness.

family shadowWhile not all, some in our society do not have their priorities straight. Nobody will ever say parenting is easy and I would not claim that it was. However, if the time is not made then our kids are forced to find their role models outside the home. Some mothers and fathers can only blame themselves. Remember, when you have a child that becomes your reason for living. If you feel like you are losing yourself or that you are inconvenienced by your kids then there is a larger problem that needs to be addressed. You can still be you and be a good parent. Life is a balance and you better not fall or your kids will be the ones that are broken.

Prioritizing is never easy but it needs to be done. Update your fantasy team when they go to bed, catch the highlights on the late news and remember the world can wait to hear your Facebook update. Ensuring time is always quality time is key for parents. I am not talking about spending money nor I am talking about giving up who you truly are as a person. It is all about maximizing every minute. Take the time on the way to school to talk about right and wrong, show them what hard work can do for them, ask them about their day, shut off the TV, play catch, shoot some jumpers, and play what they want to play. It is not always easy but make the effort. For some, it is harder than others but if you are struggling you can help foster a mentality that will put your kids in a better place later in life.

I am not standing on a soapbox exclaiming that every parent in America is a bad parent. I am also not suggesting that it is simple. It takes commitment and I believe there are some parents that have just lost touch with what matters. Just because a parent explains right from wrong when a child is young it does not mean the job is over. In fact, as they get older and their environment influences them parents need to remind them of what should be. It could be more imperative at that time then when they were younger. Continue to show them what a role model should be and remind them that athletes, while fun to watch, are just entertainers and nothing more. Continue to be the example and make every minute count. Often there are not hours in a day but rather minutes. Make those minutes count, always.

Athletes are treated as role models in the absence of role models in our children’s lives or when environmental forces outweigh what they learned at a younger age. In a Nike commercial Charles Barkley famously said; “I am not a role model.” LeBron James has echoed the same. They are right, completely right. Don’t let your children rely on athletes for life lessons. Instead be the difference. Write your own playbook. One that guarantees the success of your child. Be their anchor. Be their rock. There is no excuse. It will not always be easy but remember to be the difference and teach them to enjoy the athletes for what they are, entertainment. Nothing more and nothing less.

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