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Your Teen and Celebrity Role Models

Point out to your child that many people besides celebrities can serve as positive role models. Politicians, sports figures or Olympic athletes, authors, artists, designers, entrepreneurs, family members, teachers, community members, and even responsible celebrities can demonstrate positive qualities and make responsible decisions that your child can look up to. A positive role model should try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, love learning, have a positive attitude, take responsibility for himself, model good decision-making and behavior, and treat others with respect and kindness.

Along with teaching your child to aspire to these attributes, you can guide him or her towards positive role models in other ways:

  • Limit or control your child's television and Internet time, and encourage more educational media consumption. By exposing him to better quality media, he may find more worthy role models.
  • Motivate your child to volunteer or work in the community. Whether she helps seniors, children, animals, or the Earth, volunteering will introduce her to interesting and active individuals in the community.
  • If your fashion-forward teen relies on celebrities for the latest trends, steer her straight to the source. Fashion designers may act as more responsible role models, while providing that edge of creative inspiration.
  • Encourage your child to become involved in sports; this will keep him busy with healthy activity, increase his self-esteem, and help him to focus on athletic role models.
  • School is another great source of role models; teens who excel in academics often admire a teacher or scholar in their favorite subject.

Q: Who do you think sets the best example for our daughters?

A sports heroine (like US Women's Soccer player Mia Hamm).

A science pioneer (like Eileen Collins, first woman space shuttle commander).

An independent first lady (Hillary Clinton).

A political dynamo (Elizabeth Dole).

A girl's mom.

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Role models come from every walk of life – not just from TV and the magazines. Role models don't have to be famous, well-known, or popular; they simply need to be people who always try their best to do what's right and to be better people. As a parent, you should encourage your child to do the same.

With some guidance from you, your child can admire celebrities for their skills and talents while also recognizing the mistakes they are making in their personal life, decision making, and public actions.



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