I originally wrote a slightly different post to this last weekend after we watched Louis Suarez bite the arm of one of his opponents during a football match.
It was completely intentional and although he wasn’t actually sent off during the match, he was later given a ten match ban as punishment which he has today accepted. When I first wrote this post, I was so annoyed that someone who is looked up to by so many young children had done this. Shouldn’t footballers, especially one who is supposedly paid £100,000 a week, set a better example for our children. And not just footballers, what about other celebrities as well?
But then, as I was in the middle of writing my post about how I thought footballers and other celebrities are in a position of power because our children look up to them and dream about being just like them one day, I started to question what I was writing.
After all, it can’t be easy being famous with your every move being watched and reported to the whole world – social media means that one wrong move from a celebrity can be shared and re-shared around the world in just moments. And is it right for me to expect someone famous to set my children (and yours) a good example?
So I’ve been thinking about it for a few days and here’s what I’ve decided….
I’d love my children to look up to genuine everyday heroes who do something amazing every day – like firemen or policemen but I think I need to accept that it’s unlikely that this is going to happen as they’re exposed to so many different forms of media in their everyday life. They are going to look up to footballers, popstars and other random celebrities and as a parent, there’s little I can do to influence who they are going to see as their heroes other than try and give them a gentle push.
I don’t have the right to expect someone to behave well and set my children a good example although I still think that celebrities should be very aware of the impact that their actions can have on others. If I teach my children right from wrong then I can be confident that if they see some overpaid idiot biting someone, they’ll know he’s not behaving well and they certainly won’t think ‘If he can do it, so can I’.
If I do my job right then it doesn’t matter how badly other people behave!
What do you think, should celebrities be role models for our children or should we not expect them to behave well just because they’re famous?