I don't know about you but observing young Nickelodeon and Disney starlets growing up has been difficult to watch, especially while raising daughters. In their younger years, the Disney starlets are portrayed as innocent little girls who could be seen as role models for their peer audience. As long as the only thing we know about these actresses is their acting role, everything is fine. Our daughters see them as someone to emulate, a role model. When the Disney starlet's popularity rises, the media begins to draw attention to their private life. This is when the danger begins. More media attention is given to the actresses whose private lives don't match up to their squeaky clean images on screen. This is probably not the type of young woman you want your impressionable daughters to look up to. Read on to see why these starlets aren't good role models for your children and what to look for when searching for the person who will be.
1. They Are Or Were Kids Themselves
Kids "grow up" between elementary school age to graduating from high school. All of that growth includes normal development. Tthrow in added trauma from childhood neglect, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse and you have a recipe for addiction and making poor choices. Disney starlets riddled by addiction and mental health issues include Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato. While Demi openly discusses her problems with cutting and ways to overcome depression, your child may only be looking at the bad behavior as inspiration.
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2. They Make Mistakes
If you are human, you make mistakes. The difference is that your kids do not see the consequences the Disney starlets have for making their mistakes. Or better yet, the lack of consequences. Because they are rich and famous, oftentimes they do not pay the full price for the mistakes they make. Unfortuantely, your child most likely will. For instance, Lindsay Lohan was charged with driving under the influence three times before she finally went to jail. For a day. Your daughter will likely have greater repurcutions to the same actions.
3. They Want The Media Attention To Generate Income
Celebrities' income is based on fame so any attention is good attention. Look at the recent activities of Miley Cyrus. At the MTV award show in 2012, she danced provocatively and nearly nude. Within a week she was swinging and singing on a wreaking ball, again semi-nude on a YouTube video. While Miley, and other pop stars, are making a name for themselves by shedding their clothes, your daughter will likely only make a BAD name for herself (and a total of $0.00) if she were to engage in the same activities.
4. They Do Not Have A Personal Relationship With Your Child
The Disney starlets have a public presence with your child only but there is no personal relationship. Just because Miley Cyrus affectionaltely refers to her mega fans as "Smilers" doesn't mean the relationship is deep or authentic. She does not talk to those fans one-on-one or share confidences. Besides Cyrus, other Disney starlets similiary do not share their real personal lives with your child, and your child does not share hers. Your child might have a one-way admiration for a public figure, but that is not a good role model for her.
5. Information About The Star May Not Be Accurate
Your child only sees what the media presents to them. The stories are up for interpretation since you can't ask the source directly what she meant by her statements or actions. It is a one sided relationship with fantasy as a constant ingredient. The relationship is based on a fantasy that can not be confirmed.
You probably don't need too much convincing that Disney starlets aren't the best role model for your daughter. If you want a better option but aren't sure what to look for, read on to see the qualities that will surely benefit your child's life and future.
1. Someone Who Has A Personal Relationship With Your Child
It can be a teacher, pastor, counselor, neighbor, or better yet, you. Parents have the most influence over their kids than anyone. Other people can make a big difference in a child's life but you as a parent are the most important role model. What you do matters to your daughter. She wants to hear about your values and beliefs. She needs to know where your boundaries are so she knows she is safe with you. She needs you to believe in her, to build up her self esteem and be her cheerleader. She needs your relationship to crawl, then stand on her own two feet, to walk then run. She needs your relationship with her to feel safe enough to grow beyond you.
2. Someone Whose Behavior Matches His Or Her Beliefs And Values
Role models have high integrity but this doesn't mean they are perfect and never make mistakes. For the most part, a good role model will practice what they preach. They will do what they say they will do, and will say no to what they know they won't do. As a parental role model, it is important that you share your beliefs and values with your kids. It will be much more meaningful to them if your actions match up with your beliefs and values. For example, telling your kids they need to keep their rooms clean and your room is a disaster is not being a good role model. You will get a better response by keeping a tidy room yourself when you deliver message. Kids know what you value by your actions.
3. Someone Who Wants To Invest In Your Child's Future Success
Role models will invest time and energy into a child's life for the sole purpose of giving for the future success of the child. There is no manipulation or trying to get something back. The purpose is strictly to benefit your child. For most kids, their deepest desire is for their mom and dad to be their role models. A lot of parents feel insecure in being a role model or don't realize how much their kids are watching their every move. The best thing you can do for your kids is to talk with them, play with them, and have time for them. Kids want to matter to someone — that is how he or she learns they are important and special.
Your relationship matters with your child. Share your beliefs and values with them. Talk to them about what is happening with the Disney starlet's lives they see or read about in the media. Teach them about love, addiction, relationships, rehab and all the ways people have consequences for behavior choices they make. Kids want to know what you think about things, and make sure you back up you words with actions. Your child will thank you for it.
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