Charlie Sheen Is a Great Parenting Model

Charlie Sheen is a great parenting model by Bruce Sallan

Charlie Sheen is a great parenting model by Bruce Sallan.Do you think that Charlie Sheen is a great parenting model? Of course I don’t, but I bet I got your attention? He is a great model–of how not to behave, as so many of our so-called “celebrities” are today–in abundance.

When I was growing up we had terrific male role models.  JFK stood out as the image of a man to me when I was a boy. I was devastated by his assassination.  Sports stars were also heroic and in some cases much larger than life, especially to kids. When Sandy Koufax made the difficult choice not to pitch a World Series game because it conflicted with his faith, he showed us what it meant to be a man, let alone a man of faith.

I’m not sure Charlie Sheen, Michael Vick, John Edwards, Paris Hilton, and so many others are in the same “field.”

But, they do provide excellent teaching moments for our kids. Indeed they do, depending on how you to approach these opportunities. The following dialogue is one way a dad might “approach” this:

Teen Son: Hey, Dad, did you see the latest interview with Charlie Sheen?

Dad: Nah

Teen Son: Boy, he was so funny. I sure hope he sticks it to CBS!

Dad: Oh?

Teen Son: Yeah, sounds like he’s being really hassled by them.  Besides, he’s cool.  I want his life!

Dad: I bet you do.

Sound far-fetched? I don’t think so. Might this scenario have been a good “teaching moment?” Ya think? Sheen is a lesson that is just too perfect for a parent to show how drugs, excess, stupidity, arrogance, and fame can be so damaging.

Are parents, and dads specifically, teaching their boys what it means to be a good man?  Given the preponderance of lousy male role models in the public sphere, it is incumbent on dads, and moms for that matter, to respond to the embarrassment of Charlie Sheen, or the foolish choices of someone like Michael Vick. But, respond with a more assertive approach than “Dad” did above.

Our children, especially the younger ones, will carefully watch how we as dads respond and react. What we say and teach our teen boys is essential to their moral development.

I referenced Michael Vick as I believe, ironically, he is an example of how two different lessons can be taught. When he first got caught and convicted of dog fighting, it was an obvious lesson in just about everything you can do wrong.  However, his rehabilitation is an equally valuable lesson.  I don’t think I’d ever trust him around dogs again, but he paid the price and he did come back.  That, too, is being a man.

Parents, and dads in particular, mustn’t delude themselves in thinking that because they themselves are good people that it will automatically rub off on their offspring. Just because you may be a concert pianist, and your kids may have your inherent genetic musical ability, they still need piano lessons. So, too, they need lessons on morals, chivalry, and respect. They must be taught to be the best men they can be!

Having certain “talks” with your kids may be uncomfortable–for them and for you. So what? Your job as parent isn’t to be their buddy, but rather to be their best parent. And that means you don’t avoid those uncomfortable talks about sex, drugs, drinking, or treating women with respect.

Dads should lead by example, be a good model of the behavior they expect from their boys in their daily lives, and lead in teaching our boys to be good men. I don’t care how hard it may be to deal with the touchy subjects. Do it.  Here’s another way that conversation about Charlie Sheen could have gone:

Teen Son: Hey, Dad, did you see the latest interview with Charlie Sheen?

Dad: No, I didn’t.

Teen Son: Boy, he was so funny. I sure hope he sticks it to CBS!

Dad: Oh, and why is that?

Teen Son: Because they are so rich, and he’s so cool.

Dad: Hmmm, so you think his antics are “cool”? You think that since he has his own children, it’s “cool” for him to party, beat up women, get drunk or so high he can’t remember his name, and otherwise made a jackass of himself?

Teen Son: But, he’s famous and makes so much money. So what?

Dad:  The “So What” is that he’s a jerk. He caused several hundred people on that show to lose their jobs. He thinks only of himself and his immediate gratification.

Teen Son: Wow, I hadn’t thought of it that way.

Dad: Good, ‘cause I expect much more of you. Do I treat your mom the way Sheen treats women?

Teen Son (chastised and quiet): No, you treat her like a goddess.

Dad: Which is exactly what she deserves and how I expect you will treat any woman that enters your life.

Celebrities are our prisms with which many of us see the world. They dominate media and more often than not do not present the most positive role models.  Use the bad ones as the examples not to follow. Live and model the examples your boys should follow. Are you listening, dads?

Is this easy? No. Is it important? You know the answer.

Bruce Sallan’s second book is an e-book only – “The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues: An Interactive Journal from A Dad’s Point-of-View” – and costs a whopping $2.79 for PDF and $2.99 on Amazon/Kindle. It’s a travelogue, an emotional father-son story, and it contains 100 photos and 7 original videos. Bruce is also the author of “A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation” and radio host of “The Bruce Sallan Show – A Dad’s Point-of-View.” He gave up a long-term showbiz career to become a stay-at-home-dad. He has dedicated his new career to becoming THE Dad advocate. He carries out his mission with not only his book and radio show, but also his column “A Dad’s Point-of-View”, syndicated in over 100 newspapers and websites worldwide, his “I’m NOT That Dad” vlogs, the “Because I Said So” comic strip, and his dedication to his community on Facebook and Twitter. Join Bruce and his extensive community each Thursday for #DadChat, from 6-7pm PST, the Tweet Chat that Bruce hosts.

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