Parents as role models

Parents came top in an online poll to find the best role models for children.

In a Parentline Plus web survey answered by 299 parents, 88% voted themselves as their children's most important role model.

Parents see themselves as their children’s most important role models, according to the results of an online poll carried out by Parentline Plus.

A total of 299 parents had their say in the survey, in which they were asked who they thought was the top role model for their child.

Parents came top with 88% of the vote, with the next nearest choice for top role model being a celebrity or a relative, at 11% each. Next came a friend, at 3%, and finally a sports hero at 1%.

Parentline Plus, which runs a free* confidential, 24-hour Parentline 0808 800 2222, says that it’s great that parents want to inspire their children as they bring them up by aspiring to be their number one role model. The charity also strongly believes that since parenting is one of the toughest jobs in the world then it’s a sign of strength to ask for help and support. Parentline Plus offers this support either through its Parentline, through email via or through its websites,

Parentline Plus trustee and spokesperson Suzie Hayman said: “Role models are important in a child’s life – whether that role model be Barack Obama, Angelina Jolie or mum and dad. It’s a natural part of growing up and of being an adult to recognise the qualities of a person you admire, and want to copy them.

“My experience is that kids tend to grow up much like their parents, however much they might rebel along the way. Parents and carers are the people who play the major role in shaping children’s lives as they develop and it’s great to know that many parents remember how they looked up to their own parent, and hope their kids will look up to them. It makes you realise how much responsibility you have as a parent, being a role model as well as a carer. That’s why Parentline is there – to help and support parents in such a difficult job!”

Parentline Plus is a national charity offering parent to parent support on the phone, by email, through its website and face-to-face from 10 local centres around the country. Every year the biggest independent provider of parent support in the country answers over 115,000 calls on its 24-hour Parentline 0808 800 2222. The charity’s website has nearly 330,000 visitors every year – with a wealth of information for parents with children of all ages and message boards for parents to share experiences and support each other.


Notes to editor:

Parentline Plus is a national charity that works for, and with, parents. We encourage parents to see that asking for help is a sign of strength, and work with them to offer practical solutions and to suggest ways to manage their particular situations and difficulties. We deliver this support through an innovative range of free, flexible, responsive services – shaped by parents for parents.

Poll results asked parents online: “Who do you think is the most important role model for your child?”

Total number of responses: 299

  • A celebrity: 11 votes (3.7%)
  • A sports hero: 4 votes (1.3%)
  • A friend: 9 votes (3%)
  • A relative: 11 votes (3.7%)
  • You/their parents: 264 votes (88.3%)