Media creates role models for children

Why Media Role Models Matter, Common Sense Media, February 6,2012

A valuable and pithy article that makes many excellent points. An underlying theme involves the need for parents to remain involved in their children’s media selections and obsessions.

The media creating role models for our kids begins with small things like a child getting a light saber and playing with it or having an Ariel outfit and wearing it on Halloween. This progresses to more complex bit of emulation and imitation, like mouthing lines from the movie and doing play-acting with friends, which could include uses of voice tone and gesture.

Over time, as the child grows, the role modeling blends into incorporating attitudes and activities and even moral codes. In other words, social and moral codes begin to crystalize around what a character in a film or TV show does or believes, or a celebrity thinks and does.

In a very real sense, the media character or celebrity takes over precisely the traditional position in a child’s development once played by parents, esteemed uncles and aunts, older brothers and peers. Hence the term super-peer seems apt.