She may dream of looking like her, walking like her, dressing like her. A clumsy boy may admire the skills of an NFL quarterback and cover the walls of his room with posters of this player. These types of role models generally don’t pose a problem. However, try to see what your teenager might be trying to compensate for when their idol seems to be the polar opposite of who they are.
Take some time reassuring your daughter about how beautiful she is, or building up your son’s confidence in his own abilities. However, you must keep an eye out for any eating disorders that may ensue. The role models that you generally have to be concerned about are those whose lifestyles aren’t worthy of imitating. When your thirteen-year-old daughter starts inappropriately dressing like her pop star idol, it might be time to try to introduce other potential role models into her life. For instance, you could take her to see a world famous ice skater in hopes that she’ll become fascinated with her.
Most athletes can serve as good role models, especially if they live their lives with integrity. Try to subtly steer your young teens toward these positive role models. Of course, with the media and peer pressure, sometimes it seems like you’re fighting a losing battle. Quite often, kids will choose role models just to irritate you, so if you make too big a deal out of it, they’re likely to radiate toward their idol even more. As with all aspects of raising teenagers, you have to remember to choose your battles! After all, even though they won’t admit it, most teens’ favorite role model isn’t the one whose picture is plastered all over their rooms, it’s actually you!