If Your Kid Has A Role Model, You're in Trouble

mad teenAs both a mom and somebody who writes about teens on a daily basis, I have to tell you there are plenty of days when the outlook for my kids' upcoming adolescence seems pretty grim. Those days start like this: Hmmm, let's see what's going on with the teenagers of the world today ... oh, look at that. Teen robs convenience store at gunpoint. That's a shame. What's this? Violent brawl leaves teen brain-damaged. Yikes. Teen pregnancy rates skyrocketing ... argh.

And of course, most recently, Teen Kills Parents With Hammer, Then Throws House Party. For the love of God, really?

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With headlines like these, I understand why parents are tempted to point fingers at out-of-control celebs and blame the "deterioration of our youth" on "bad" role models. It's gotta be somebody's fault, right?

But if kids should look to anyone as role models, it's us. Parents, teachers, family members ... it's our job to make kids understand that actors and rappers and reality TV stars are NOT the people you set out to emulate in life. They need to understand the difference between fame and infamy, and to learn that neither one is important. And we need to expose them to as many quality "real-life" adults as possible, because the truth is that we, as individuals, only have so much wisdom to offer. It takes a village of role models, or something, is what I'm getting at.

Anyway, it's not quite the teenage wasteland out there the news would have you believe. Yeah, teens do horrible things and get in lots of trouble and they always have and always will, because they're human beings. But don't let the latest scandal fool you. The kids are all right.

Do you think our teenagers are as messed up as the news makes it seem?


Image via Vanessa_Hutd/Flickr

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