I was giving a speech at The House of Commons last night about the importance of positive role models in the lives of children after the UK riots and I began reading a very inspiring blog by John Locke that’s in his latest book “How I sold a million ebooks in 5 months” while I was having a quick coffee at Victoria Station before jumping into a taxi, as I’m making all my ebooks available in the next couple of weeks on Kindle.

They say there’s no such things as coincidences don’t they but the blog was called Why I Love Joe Paterno and my Mom and was about the importance of two influential role models in John’s life.

I found it inspiring.

John’s father died when he was two and his Mum was concerned about the lack of male influences in his life as a teenager and she told him to find a male role model he could look up to.

What struck a chord with me was that she told him to pick a person of high character and to watch how he handled adversity and success and to emulate his behaviour.

What an inspiring and amazing idea.

Kids need role models and I wrote a blog myself after the riots called Heroes, Role Models and David Beckham – being a super hero to your kids as I was pondering being a role model to my own children who have both recently turned 19 and 17.

Some people idolise footballers, athletes, film stars or business dragons and I actually think that it really matters who you choose to be your hero because it says a lot about you.

After all our heroes and heroines are the figures and people we wish to become or wish to emulate.

These are the people we secretly admire in our quiet moments of pondering and daydreaming.

They represent our potential and our unlimited possibilities.

Heroes provide us with a moral compass, a destination that we would like to reach or a core value that speaks to us.

I was also very touched by the finalist Marcus Collins on the X factor as he dedicated his final song in the competition to his single parent Mum for believing in him and being a strong positive role model to him throughout his teenage years.

We are our children’s role models in all that we do, say and in how we behave and we pass on our values to our kids all the time so we need to make sure that we are positive ones, and whilst having a positive role model is of course, not the simplistic answer to the riots and teenage disaffection  it surely wouldn’t hurt some kids to choose their heroes carefully  and to learn respect, tenacity, honesty and integrity from their heroes.

What do you think ?

Who were your role models growing up?

If you’d like to read what I said at The House of Commons click here