Right about now, most parents are probably crossing Lance Armstrong's name off the list of Good Role Models for the Kids. After all, he lied (and lied and lied and lied). He used banned substances. He did a whole bunch of stuff wrong. So that means we switch him over to the Bad Influence list, right?
Well, maybe not. He's finally telling the truth: He made big mistakes, and he made them all by himself. Nobody forced him. As he told Oprah in tonight's long-awaited exclusive interview, "All the fault lies on me." That's not an easy thing to admit. Still, does he deserve any credit for 'fessing up?
I think so. But "honesty is the best policy" isn't the main lesson I want my kids to learn from Armstrong's story. I would rather have my kids look at the disgraced athlete as an example of why we, as a society, shouldn't be making professional athletes (not to mention actors or musicians or models or politicians) "role models" in the first place. People are people, no matter how rich, successful or talented they might be -- people are not superheroes. Building any human being up to such great heights is completely unfair to everyone involved: They will fail and we will be disappointed.
I want my kids to believe in themselves, in their own limitless potential. But I also want them to accept themselves as human. Flawed. Real. To pretend otherwise is the real mistake.
What will you tell your kids about Lance Armstrong's confession?
Image via OWN
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside