The saying goes, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall.” But when a hero flames out in the public eye, the collateral damage is often the worst for younger fans. Thanks to media and technology, these types of stories are hard to avoid. So, how do you help your kids deal with a hero who cheats or misbehaves?
According to experts, the first thing to do is to keep any idolization in check. It’s great to be a fan of a sports player, pop singer or public figure. Just make sure to keep it real and balanced. It never hurts to talk about expectations and morals. “What would you do?” hypothetical scenarios are great storytelling exercises with a purpose. Reassure kids that everyone is vulnerable to mistakes and temptations. The true test of character is not necessarily avoiding mistakes, but handling yourself well after the fall out.
Look for smaller scale heroes closer to home. Good deeds and random acts of kindness don’t make people heroes, but those who consistently help out and try to do the right thing in difficult circumstances do qualify for the “h” word. Be sure to encourage inspirational stories of men and women who beat the odds to do something helpful, not just those who rose to fame and fortune. As writer Brandon Mull says, “Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.”
Here is some more information on the subject: