How to Guide Your Kid to Select Role Models

Later this summer, our older daughter will check off a giant bucket list item: going to see Taylor Swift in concert. You can imagine what our house sounds like until then: T Swizzle on repeat around the clock.

Strange enough, I’m almost as excited as she is, and I’m not even going. That’s because this daughter is our musical one. Since birth, a tune has been coming out of her. I have distinct memories of catching her in her room when she was a toddler as she made up song after song, and up until now, she’s mostly avoided the microphone and the stage. But I still have hope!

About a decade ago, Taylor Swift was first a breakout star. I remember telling my wife, “When Grace gets older, I bet she will love Taylor.” And here we are. 

Yes, she has catchy tunes. But more important than her talent, I think she’s a good role model for our daughter(s). She’s stayed out of trouble, oozes charisma, and seems to have solid character and strength. 

Every kid needs a slew of role models as they grow up, not just their parents. 

Role models come in all shapes and sizes. Some are family; others are fiction. Some role models are celebrities; others are friends. Some role models show you what’s possible in your career, and others teach you what it looks like to lead a healthy life. 

Your kid might come up with their own list of role models, but we’ve learned over the past decade how important it is to guide them to reflect on who they look up to and why. 

Now is a great time to bring it up to your kids (or students). Ask them who they want to be like when they get older. Ask them who has a lifestyle they admire. Ask them which characters on shows, movies, or novels they feel inspired by. 

And don’t forget to share yours with them, too, and introduce them to your role models. Chances are, they wouldn’t think about them if it wasn’t for you. 

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For years we’ve been studying what a young person needs in order to transition into a healthy, thriving adulthood.  

They're uncommon sense ideas, really.

Download this checklist and use it with your students (or kids).

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