Shaping Young Minds

I’ve watched a lot of “super hero” type movies in the last month. I saw Captain America, which I thought was “meh”, Ironman 1 and 2, both of which I thought were great, and the Green Lantern which I thought was on par with Captain America… Meh. Cool powers and what not, but I feel like they were done poorly.

Anyway, I was thinking about the term “hero” today, for some reason, and found it funny how having super powers and thwarting bad guys gives someone automatic “hero” status. It’s kind of a cop out, in my opinion… There are people out there, trying to be a hero to their kid, and along comes superman who couldn’t be a wuss if he tried.

Fiction aside though, I think heroes and role models in general are important to a kid’s developement, and as a parent I’m a little irritated by what passes as a role model these days.

I don’t think professional athletes should automatically be upheld as a role model. Sure, they’re example on the “field” is one that could be admired, but there’s too much that goes on off the field that the general public, the ones who look up to these folks, don’t know. Just because they’re in the public eye for a percentage of their lives, doesn’t mean the rest of the life is admirable.

According to Dictionary.com, “hero” means: a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. (and a few others). By this definition, professional athletes, in my opinion, do not even qualify. Sure, they risk injury in some cases, but they’re being paid a BOAT load of money for it. It’s not like they’re getting touchdowns because if they don’t, buildings will fall over. They’re not risking their lives to save people from burning buildings, they’re risking their lives for MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. Like it or not though, they’re going to impress children, and thus become role models, or at least influences, good or bad. My daughter likes shows on Nick about early teenage girls who hate dorks and geeks and like hunky jocks, etc. I have considered banning such things, but she’s only going to run into it, and/or other kids who watch the same crap and thus have the same views at school and so on.

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