Chloe and I had a morning in bed today. Roo went shopping with Grandma, The Husband was at a meeting and the best I could do was cuddle up with my baby girl. I’m in a load of pain so my words may be be nonsensical, I am writing as I’m thinking.
Chloe was singing and I told her she had a beautiful voice. She said maybe she’d be famous someday. It stopped me in my tracks as I considered Chloe’s thoughts and aspirations. Was she thinking about Little mix? Cheryl Cole? Lady Gaga?!?! I knew she’d grow up to be a proper little girl at some point but its really crept up on me in a weird kind of way! I mean, she is at an age of observing, chewing it over and potentially imitating. She is at an age when role models become significant.
Eek. Role models. Other people apart from her close family will influence how she behaves, what she likes and how she talks. This is pretty big stuff. Of course her peers influence her too – she came home last week and told me that her best friend had pulled her to one side and declared to Chloe that she loved Zach. They’re five. You could see that rolling around Chloe’s mind as she considered what ‘love’ meant.
But adults – teachers, pop singers and people around Emmanuel are going to start seriouslly imacting this little mind.
I showed her a youtube clip of a woman called Kari Jobe. She’s an american worship leader. She’s young (relatively) loves to glam it up a little and is 100% sold out for Jesus. I follow her on twitter and her attitude is always gentle and positive. She’s not got super powers and she’ll mess up like all of us but her heart is after God. No doubt a load of young girls who know her will look up to her and she’s the kind of person I want my girls to look up to. I want them to know that they can follow after God’s heart and have fun with their hair and clothes that express their character.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not about Kari Jobe. Man alive, I’m a youth worker and with all the modesty in the world, I know that the words I use around my young people really matter. My attitude matters to them. Am I being an appropriate role model, particularly to my girls in our youth group? That’s something I really need to think about because the thought of me turning them off christianity and away from Jesus makes me feel sick.
In the Bible when Paul wrote a letter to the church in Philippi he wrote this
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (philippians 4:8)
I reckon if Paul was around today he’d be encouraging christians to to find people that inspire them to walk what they talk, and that direct them straight back to God. I also reckon he’d be urging us adults to man up and be aware that what we say and do and how we do it is being watched by young impressionable eyes.
Very Impressionable indeed. I have know idea who has inspired Ruby to call most of her Teddies (and herself when she’s playing mums and dads) ‘Tree’. That’s not completely fair. She does have a teddy called Habbit.
Here’s the clip I showed Chloe: