For kids, it’s important to have great role models in their life as they’re growing up. Their parents, of course, should be the first role models, but the people around them and the people they see in the media are also vital in the way they see themselves. As children grow up and get to know more and more people, whether famous or not, they are bound to look up to more role models other than their parents.
For many children, the first ones they might see are movie stars and professional athletes. These are the most visible to them from a young age, mainly through television and even influence from their parents and relatives. They might even take them to games or autograph signings, and it is here when children witness what society values in a person. Most parents recognize the value of these special individuals, especially athletes. For many of them, these sports heroes are positive role models for everyone.
- They promote athleticism.
Today kids are more likely to spend their days indoors playing on their phones; athletes can inspire them to engage in more physical activity. Even if children don’t do the same sports as their idols, they are more inspired to be more active. Promoting physical activity among children is an essential role of professional athletes since it can help combat the growing problem of childhood obesity in the country.
- They promote discipline and good health.
Professional athletes work hard for their achievements, and this can be an important message for your child. Through athletes’ example, our kids can learn how to discipline themselves, work hard for what they want, and maintain grades so they can stay on the team. Once your child has mastered these skills, they will be more equipped to take on the world as they grow older.
But they also promote health awareness. Athletes experience injuries, but they manage pain through proper medical checkups, massage therapy, and the advice of medical professionals. Athletes make young people realize the value of self-care so that they could better care for other people.
- Many athletes have inspiring backstories.
If you watch a lot of athlete speeches, you will notice that a lot of them come from difficult backgrounds. Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, grew up in a low-income family in Portugal, with barely enough food and no toys. These inspiring backstories are important for children, especially for those who are living in a similar situation.
- They make changes in their community.
Plenty of athletes like LeBron James like to give back to their community now that they have the money and status to do so. These athletes often start scholarships, fund infrastructures, and create programs that are designed to spark change in the community. This can send a message to children, which emphasizes giving back to the community and helping to solve problems within it.
- Athletes can inspire confidence.
One of the most challenging parts of being a parent is learning how to build your child’s confidence as they grow up. Having an athlete as a role model can help with this. For example, exposing your daughters to female athletes can show them that women can play just as many sports as men. More importantly, athletes can teach kids that when they are confident about themselves and their skills, they can reach just about any goal.
As great as it is for children to have athletes as role models, parents should still monitor what their idols are saying on TV. Not all athletes are responsible for their words, so parents should listen and make children understand that everyone is a mixed bag. There are admirable qualities, and there are things that we could change to make ourselves better, just like their sports heroes.