General Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

So just exactly who is qualified to be a role model?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19026points) November 7th, 2010

Is there anyone who actually is qualified to be a role model for children? What criteria do you have for someone being a role model for your (perhaps imaginary) child?

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31 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

Role models develop because they meet some need in the child or person who looks up to them. It doesn’t require any other qualification than hero worship.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@YARNLADY You know, I always expect you to be this sweet old lady, but man, you have some ass-kicking dark sides to you, too…. XD

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

A person I deeply respect for their integrity and sense of compassion for others is free to be a role model to my children. My partner and I are role models for our children, as well – if one doesn’t see themselves as such, they shouldn’t parent.

flutherother's avatar

I am suspicious of the idea. I like kids and think they should grow up to be themselves. I would be reluctant to pour them into some pre determined mould of what I imagine a perfect person to be.

rooeytoo's avatar

A good role model is not a serial killer or a rapist. She/he is hopefully a contributing member of society and a good compassionate human being.

Which actually eliminates a lot of sports heros who somehow or other automatically become role models when they sign the contract and make the team.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Those are some incredibly wide and vague definitions you guys are painting with, there. I feel like with the proper reference letter, I could definitely be a role model to all of your kids. Well, except for @rooeytoo,‘s can’t forget about my little serial killing weekend hobby, now can we?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@papayalily Heh, I wouldn’t accept a reference letter – I’d have to make a judgment of you, in person and my standards are damn near impossible.

Paradox's avatar

I would say no one. I never had role models when I was a kid. I think every kid or adult for that matter should be motivated to be the first great version of themselves rather than a copy of somebody else.

Fyrius's avatar

They’d have to be very good at keeping up appearances. A bit like politicians.

If I had kids, I’d want to teach them about the package deal fallacy very early on. Nobody is perfect, but many people have good qualities. So rather than aspiring to be like some role model in every respect, you can pick and choose good qualities to emulate from various different people, and use those to enrich your natural self.

HoneyBee's avatar

There are no definitive qualifications for everyone.
I think it should be left up to an individual as they see fit.

My grandmother was a great role model in some ways for me.
She wasn’t perfect but had very strong beliefs and morals that have influence who I am.
She also was married for over 75 years to my grandfather and died at the age of 100.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Nobody. Every role model will let you down if you look up to them too much.

stardust's avatar

I would say anyone who exudes the qualities @Paradox outlines. Spending time around a person that has self-belief, confidence, compassions, etc. is inspiring in itself. That impacts on others regardless.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I think parents should be a role model to their children…if they’re good ones ;)

BarnacleBill's avatar

A role model doesn’t have to be someone that you want to be a carbon copy of; the person could be someone that exemplifies a certain way of being. A friend was somewhat of a role model for my daughters, and her daughter. Ivy League undergrad and med school, active in the arts and women’s groups, learned to speak three languages, great dresser, fit, threw amazing parties, well-read. The girls wanted to have it all together and accomplish everything they could think of, just like her. She exemplified self-reliance and a full life. And then, my friend got into a relationship with a man that hit her. She broke up with him, but then went back into the relationship… It’s cost her almost all of her friends, and her relationship with her daughter.

Coloma's avatar

I’m a huge advocate for role models that express diversity and out of the box thinking and lifestyle orientation.

Of course integrity and kindness is huge as well.

I have always encouraged my own daughter to be herself, follow her own desires and to hell with ever, EVER, allowing anything or anyone else to dictate how she ‘should’ be.

Of course this is coming from my own self described ’ non-conformist of high integrity’ self appointed slogan. lol

Judi's avatar

Kids WILL have role models, people who have qualities they want to emulate, and after raising three independently minded kids, I can tell you that parents don’t choose their role models, THEY do.
My only hope was that I had taught them to value honesty, integrity, compassion, diversity, faith, and education (to name a few) so the role models they chose would help teach those values that were important to our family. Sometimes they did and sometimes they didn’t.
Now that they have children of their own, it warms my heart to see how their values have evolved. Thanks to some of the better role models they chose, they are doing a much better job of parenting than I did. They just amaze me.

wundayatta's avatar

All I know is that, qualified or not, I am a role model for my kids. Personally, I don’t think I’m qualified. But I figured with my own kids it doesn’t really matter. They’re mine so no one can tell me what to do with them. I’m not fucking up some other child’s life, just those of my own children, which, I believe, I am not doing, even if I don’t believe in spanking, or hiding knowledge, or treating them like second class citizens. Most people would probably think they are disrespectful to me and my wife, if they saw them at home. But they dress up pretty good outside the home.

Blondesjon's avatar

<—Not a role model

I have always told my children, “I don’t want you to be like me. I want you to be better than me.”

Coloma's avatar

I modeled kindness, a huge love of nature, environment, animals, total honesty, with major emphasis on creativity and looking for the ever present 1001 options to every situation.

I was so proud of my daughter just the other day when she was telling me how she and her boyfriend were ‘counseling’ her room mate about an unhealthy relationship with a boyfriend.

I was blown away at her insights as a young, 23 next week! woman.

One of our favorite things to do still is watch nature and animal videos/documentaries and she has gotten her bf into them as well…..aaah, the animal planet family! lol

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It depends on the role. I, for instance, would be a great smartasshat role model. If your children want to be a smartasshat like me, then bookmark a few of my comments and have them pm me for further apprenticeship.

under 18 must be accompanied by written permission of legal guardian

kheredia's avatar

Somebody you aspire to be like. Not just career wise but as a person.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Someone who can inspire you to always keep learning, always keep dreaming and always above all else, be yourself.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

A person who can offer and expedite the maximum positive output. It’s subject to custom and stuff but for me in particular then it would be someone like my Grandpa. My ideal role model for children is someone who can put aside their own personal wants for a time in order to be focused, loving, supportive, encouraging, engaging, consistent, challenging, patient and compassionate. I’d want an adult who could physically be present and active with my child, add to their education outside of the school and one who tune my child to be guarded and discerning enough about others while not scaring the hell out of them.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Megaperceptiva's avatar

Role model is someone you looke up to for advice. If you’ve got a problem, you look to them for the answer. Be careful what you say or do or act because they might try to imitate it.

tinyfaery's avatar

I agree with @Fyrius. Someone who is a total ass in one respect can be very admirable in others. A role is one aspect of a person. If you see someone as a role model you must only look at them in that specific role. Otherwise, you will be greatly disappointed.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@psychocandy: A role being one aspect of a person, sure there are plenty of people like that, not well rounded but useful- do as I say and not as I do/have done.

josie's avatar

Nobody has established criteria that would qualify anybody in particular. Without a standard, there is no answer to the question. Which I think is a good thing.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

That’s a great answer @josie. So true… You’re my new role model.

MrsDufresne's avatar

It supposed to be the parents. But their are different ways of parenting, some with good legacies, and some with bad legacies. If the child grows up to be someone that has integrity, and respect for others, then, IMO, they had good role models.

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