What Types of Role Models Do Parents Want for their Children?

Jan 13, 2020 by

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Every parent wants their child to have a good role model while they’re growing up. One they can look up to in order to positively influence their behaviour, to set a good example and show them what they could achieve or can aspire to become when they grow up. But when asked to choose which type of celebrity role model you’d most want for your child, what type of person would you choose? 

The fostering agency Perpetual Fostering set out to discover what type of celebrity role models we most want for our children. They surveyed 2,000 UK adults and asked them which celebrity they think is the best role model for their child. The results found a wide range of big names such as Richard Branson, Barack Obama, David Beckham and more, and revealed that occupation-wise, the role models ranked as follows: 

OccupationNumber of Votes 
Business people 20.49%
Sports people 13.81% 
Actors/Actresses12.28%
Musicians 9.30%
Politicians 7.85%
TV or Radio Presenters 6.61%
Academics 5.09%
Royal Family Members 4.29%
Authors 3.56%
Naturalists 2.62% 
Activists 2.40% 
Religious Figures 2.11% 
Chefs 1.82% 
Legal Professionals 1.67%
Fictional Characters 1.24%
Media Personalities 0.87% 
Youtubers0.80%
Comedians0.73%
Civil Service Members0.51%
Vets 0.36%
Film or Game Makers 0.29%
Artists 0.22%
Pastors 0.22%
Architects 0.15%
Explorers0.15%
Models 0.15%
Fashion Designers 0.15%
Inventors 0.15%
Serial Killers 0.07%
Heroines 0.07% 
  1. Business people and Entrepreneurs

1 in 5 UK parents chose a businessperson as their number 1 role model for their children. This category received the highest number of votes out of all 30 occupational groups. Members of this grouping who received the highest number of votes were Lord Alan Sugar, Sir Richard Branson and Bill Gates, all of whom made the Top 5. 

  1. Sports People 

A range of sporting personalities were the next most popular category, with footballers such as Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Harry Kane and David Beckham all making the list of Top 50 Celebrity Role Models for Children. Other famous sports stars who made the cut included Wimbledon Tennis Champion Sir Andy Murray and Gold Medalist Heptathlete Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill. 

  1. Actors and Actresses

The results found that more parents want their children to grow up to be Actors and Actresses than many other types of celebrity, as 12.28% of UK parents’ role models fitted into this category. The TV and movie stars who received the most votes included the likes of Emma Watson, Will Smith and Dwayne Johnson, all of whom UK parents identified as being good role models for their children. 

  1. Musicians 

As you can see from the table above, musicians followed closely behind Actors and Actresses, receiving 1 in every 20 votes for being good role models in the eyes of UK parents. The most voted for star in this category was American singer-songwriter Beyonce Knowles, followed by Victoria Beckham and Ed Sheeran. Almost 1 in every 10 votes cast were for musicians. 

  1. Politicians 

American politicians also fared well in the ranks, with former US President Barack Obama receiving the most votes out of every politician and ranking 5th overall as one of UK parents’ Favourite Celebrity Role Models for their children. Other politicians also made the Top 50 list, such as current UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump. More than 1 in every 13 votes made were for politicians. 

A wide range of different types of celebrities also made the Top 50 List, from Academics to Activists, and from Inventors to Religious Figures. To see the full Top 50 List of Celebrity Role Models for Children (voted by UK parents) head over to Perpetual Fostering’s article ‘Who Do Parents Think Is the Best Role Model for Their Children?’. 

Our Aspirations

We want our children to succeed and it’s clear that, outside of formal education, we believe they need promising role models in all walks of life. But there’s a clear correlation between success and how to perceive someone’s ability to be a role model, with top named entrepreneurs and actors amongst the most named role models.

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1 Comment

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    Kevin J

    I am reading a blog on this website for the first time and I would like to tell you that the quality of the article is up to the mark it is very well written.

    Thank you so much for writing this article and I will surely read all the blogs from now on. Thank you so much for caring about your content and your readers.

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