How Do I Talk To My Daughter About Role Models?

By Dannah Gresh, Creator of Secret Keeper Girl

The Crocodile Hunter’s little girl is all grown up and making good choices. At a recent red carpet event, Bindi Irwin dressed tastefully and expressed concern about those who try to dress as if they are older and said, “I’m a big advocate for young girls dressing their age.”

We posed the question of whether or not Bindi was a good role model for their daughters to our Secret Keeper Girl moms. It should be noted that Bindi’s faith seems a bit confusing as her mother states she is a Christian but her father was interested in Buddhism, so maybe some caution should be used in holding her up in terms of faith. Bindi has also presented pro-choice thoughts publicly. As an overall role model, she may not be the perfect one but she stands out considerably as making good choices and reflecting a healthy lifestyle and could be someone you can talk to your daughter about.

This isn’t really a blog about Bindi. It’s about role models and Bindi’s recent comments on modesty sparked some thoughts that we wanted to share. In asking moms if she was a good role model for modesty, we got a lot of mixed opinions. Some gave her a big thumbs up and others gave her unquestionable thumbs down. But it was this comments from one mom that got us thinking:

“She may be a good fashion example for now, but there is a risk involved in allowing your daughter to model herself after such a young and still growing human. She is still shaping her view of the world and herself. Someone to watch, yes. Someone to emulate, I’m not so sure about that just yet.”

Great thoughts here. The risk is inarguable when you look to young role models. They can change. We’ve certainly seen a few good ones go bad. And that’s the word that shook us…risk.

Here’s the big question: should we take the risk to encourage our daughters to embrace role models at all?

There is a strong biblical defense in the case for embracing role models, even in the face of moms who are obviously concerned about how much they can be trusted. The first chapter of I Thessalonians is just one place where Paul admonishes believers to be “examples”. (Isn’t that just another word for role model?) He writes to the church at Thessalonica with a commendation, “you have become imitators of us and of the Lord.” They key to a role model? They should be ultimately following the role model of Christ. That wipes out anyone who is not a believer as someone we can follow.

But there’s still that word: risk. And moms seem fearful of entrusting young role models with their daughters. But is this biblical wisdom or worldly ruin caused by so much past disappointment? We think it’s the later. In I Timothy Paul writes, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young but be an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” Clearly, we should be cultivating young role models. Not fearing them.

So, look around, moms. Is there someone a few years ahead of your daughter who is a good example because they are following Christ? Don’t be afraid to take the risk.

Let us know your thoughts on this because we’re developing ours and value your opinion. Leave a comment below.

Dannah Gresh’s Secret Keeper Girl Tour is a faith-based mother-daughter connecting experience. This 2 1/2 hour event features two fun fashion shows that demonstrate modesty and true beauty, deep Bible teaching, live worship, and stories that help girls aged 7-12 embrace true beauty and modesty. Incredible balloon sculptures, bouncing beach ball competitions, mother/daughter conversation time & colorful confetti cannons make the night unforgettable. Click the video below for a sneak peak.


On Irwin family faith: http://www.readersdigest.com.au/terri-and-bindi-irwin-?page=1
On Bindi’s modesty preferences:

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh is the best-selling author, speaker , and creator of Secret Keeper Girl, America’s most popular tween stage show for moms and daughters. Dannah has authored 27 books, including And the Bride Wore White, and Lies Young Women Believe (with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth) and is considered one of the leading experts on the subjects of sexual purity, modesty, and true beauty. More than 350,000 people have attended her live events. She has been a guest on CNN, Fox News, and the 700 Club and is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family and Family Life. Her TEDTalk on tolerance for virginity offers thought-provoking look at why sexuality is enhanced by self-control. She lives in State College, Pennsylvania with her husband, Bob on a hobby farm with a menagerie of animals. The couple has four young adult children.

Amie Eddy - July 15, 2014

Could you tell me if Dannah has or knows of any mother/daughter retreats? My daughter and I really need to get away for some R & R but also some encouragement. I was divorced 6 years ago and alot of healing needs to take place within both of us. Do you know of any place that would provide this? I now live in Sarasota, Florida. But would love to go to the Mountains (like NC) for such a retreat. Looking for something at least a weekend but preferable longer. We are both strong christians.

Thanks so much!
In Christ, Amie
Sarasota, Florida

    Dannah Gresh - July 22, 2014

    We are sad to hear of your hurt. How old is your daughter? We don’t know of any retreats, but we may be able to at least bless you with a night at Secret Keeper Girl when we come to Florida in the fall if she is between the ages of 8-12.

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