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Government of SA - Role Models

Children need role models to look up to and inspire them in life. Parents and family members are children’s first role models, whether they realise it or not.Photo of a group of people

People who might be role models

When you were young you might have had special people that you looked up to. Children today need these kind of people too. They might be:

  • mum, dad, brothers, sisters
  • elders, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, family friends
  • community leaders
  • teachers, coaches
  • people in the media — sportspeople, actors, singers, artists
  • inspiring people from all walks of life — past or present.

Being a role model

Children look up to parents and family members and copy what they do. Some ways to be a good role model are to:

  • be positive about life
  • talk about the good things in people
  • stay calm, even if you feel upset
  • deal with problems in the best way you can
  • admit when you have made mistakes
  • have a healthy lifestyle.

Think about the messages you are giving if you use drugs, or are violent or racist.

Our children have what it takes to achieve great success in life.

Good role models can help them get there!

Monitoring influences

If children look up to people who you think might not be a positive influence, talk with them about:

  • who they admire and why
  • the challenges people face and how they deal with them
  • how people’s choices affected them and others. Children learn they can choose different paths in life.


Mentors are people who spend time with children who would benefit from having someone to look up to. They could be someone you know and trust or someone from a mentoring service. They might do activities with the children or just spend time with them.

  • There are services that link children with mentors. You could try the contacts in this guide.
  • Check with your child’s school. Some offer mentoring programs for students.
  • There may be someone in your community or family that can mentor your child.
  • When you choose a mentor, make sure they are trustworthy and will have a positive influence on your child.

Looking for more information

ParentLink - for other parenting guides, online parenting information:

Child and Family Centres - for parenting information and support

Raising Children’s Network - covering topics for parenting newborns to teens

Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation t 6296 8900

Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service t 6284 6222

Relationships Australia Dhunlung Yarra Service is dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples t 6122 7100

This guide’s content was produced by Parenting SA.

© Department of Education and Child Development, Government of South Australia. Reproduced with permission and adapted by the ACT Government to reflect Australian Capital Territory laws (11/17).

Important: This information is not intended to replace advice from a qualified practitioner.

Published by ParentLink
Community Services Directorate, GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601, email, telephone 13 34 27.

ACT Government Publication No. 17/0604 (June 2017)

The text for this topic is copyright Parenting SA, Government of South Australia.