Today I posed the questions: who do you feel accountable to? And who are your role models?
The general feeling was that we felt mainly accountable to ourselves - that as usually wise, and mostly sensible, adults, we knew the difference between right and wrong, and in exercising good judgement had our own consciences as our guide - our accountability partner as it were.
Accountable has always sounded like a negative word to me - as in, you will be held accountable for your actions, which has a vaguely threatening tone in my opinion - but put this way it makes a whole lot more sense. If we have a sense of self responsibility, then we make our own judgements (and therefore can be aware of the consequences) of and to our actions.
Similarly, if we hold ourselves accountable to ourselves, then it seems to me that the best role model we can find is also ourselves - the best version of ourselves that we can strive to be.
I'm thinking this might be a great angle to take with the children. Instead of offering (or having them find) role models that they can either never live up to, or are unrealistic examples (like book characters), I think I'm going to talk more about self responsibility, and listening to the small voice of reason that we all have within us.
And if I can convince them that the best example they can follow is their best version of themselves, then maybe, they will be default become a great role model for each other as well.