Parenting Expert Deborah Gilboa, M.D., AKA "Doctor G" Applauds NFL for Actions to Strengthen Personal Conduct Policies Including Domestic Violence Issues

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Doctor G Offers Parents Five Tips to Teach Kids How to Keep Their Support of Sports Heroes In Proper Perspective

Sports heroes fuel the business of professional sports and the dreams of kids who love athletics and their local sports teams. However, kids can become very confused and have their values blurred when learning their favorite superstar and role model has been knocked off his or her pedestal by being suspended for off-the-field issues like domestic violence, drugs, and other alleged crimes.

In fact, on August 28, 2014, the National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell put the league on notice that there will be sweeping changes to its Personal Conduct Policy for all league employees – including players – that calls for a mandatory six-game suspension for a first domestic violence offense and a lifetime ban from the NFL for a second offense.

"I really respect the NFL and Roger Goodell for taking a closer look and a tougher stance on their penalties for unlawful personal conduct, especially domestic violence," says Deborah Gilboa, M.D., aka "Doctor G," a leading parenting expert, family physician, author and media expert. "It’s a great step forward and helps parents tremendously as we teach kids that personal conduct matters most, and there are serious consequences for unacceptable behavior, whether you are the quarterback of a local flag football team or the NFL’s Super Bowl MVP."

According to Doctor G, these five tips will help guide parents to keeping their impressionable kids from confusing how well a person does their job with accepting, or being desensitized to, the wrong kinds of behaviors, conduct, attitudes and values in adults, even if they make their living as professional athletes.

1. Admire specifically - Talk about what you respect in a particular athlete, whether it is performance, perseverance, character or all those things. Don't just 'love' a player, speak in detail about what that person has done to earn your admiration.

2. Think before you purchase - There is power in the jersey your son or daughter wears on game day - putting on a shirt with a player's name clearly encourages a child to take on that identity. Is your child dressing up as someone you would be proud to have in your family?

3. Don't ignore the hard stuff - It can be tough to stomach the off-the-field actions of a player who carries the team on game day. As parents, it's easier to ignore the substance use, the violence or the arrests, but this leaves our kids with mixed messages. For kids old enough to follow their favorites online or hear the news, let them hear from you what you think about that bad behavior.

4. Struggle out loud - If you are torn by your appreciation for an athlete's prowess but dismayed at his behavior, tell your tween or teen about it. Ask your son or daughter for their opinion about how you can reconcile your admiration of their athleticism and the unacceptability of their disrespectful conduct. Talking about your own conflict makes your child a partner with you rather than an opponent.

5. Hold your line - Mr. Goodell and the NFL have clearly stated that even heroes can go too far. If your favorite player has behaved repeatedly or convincingly in a way that should make him hang his head in shame, don't excuse that behavior. Judge it as clearly as you would a personal foul that got him ejected from the Super Bowl.

    "The best way to pass on our values to our kids is to be clear that we take those values very seriously, no matter who violates them," she concludes.

    Doctor G releases her latest book, "Get the Behavior You Want… Without Being the Parent You Hate! -- Dr. G’s Guide to Effective Parenting," through Demos Health Publishing, LLC on September 10, 2014.

A Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Doctor G is a leading parenting expert, family physician, mother of four, international speaker, published author, contributing journalist, alumni of Second City and a television and radio personality, appearing on numerous talk, news, and informational programs around the country. For additional information visit her website at or connect with her at the following social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and her RSS Feed.

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