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Understanding TV role models today – is your daughter doomed?

As she grows older, your daughter will look to a number of sources for information about the world around her. While your role as her father makes you one of the most influential people in her life, friends, teachers, relatives and athletic coaches can all shape the woman your little girl will become one day.

In addition to these real life personalities, your daughter will also learn about herself and the world based on what she sees on television. As both a positive and negative source of information, you should consider speaking to your daughter about the differences between good and bad TV role models.

First off, monitoring and limiting the programs your little one views can help you filter out inappropriate programs that may depict characters who engage in sex, violence and drug use. However, even shows marketed to young children can be over sexualized and feature racy situations. Rather than shield your daughter from these programs, consider discussing them together to encourage her to think critically about the issues raised. Without seeming preachy, you can guide her through the facts and fictions television presents while guiding her toward forming her own intelligent conclusions about the positive and negative role models she sees.

By opening up a dialogue about television, films, music, the internet, books and magazines early in her life, you'll start your little girl down a path toward self-respect and independent thought – valuable assets in being a successful and self-aware human being.