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Who are kids’ role models?

If you want to impress children, forget using reality TV stars to speak to them. The people they really look up to are sports stars, such as David Beckham, and believe it or not, the queen! In terms of what their ambitions are, again sports score highly. These are the findings of digital insights company Toluna, which recently asked parents who their children admire, what they would want to be when they’re older and if they think their child sees reality TV stars as role models.

Ask your child what they want to be when they’re older. Select which of the following most closely resembles their answer

Key findings

  • David Beckham and the queen come joint first place (19%) as most admired by children
  • Joey Essex is least admired (1%) and Katie Price comes second to last (2%)
  • The most popular choice for what children want to be when they’re older is a sports star (13%), whereas parents’ most popular choice for their children is for them to become a doctor/nurse (14%)
  • Being rich is the second most popular choice for what children (10%) want to be when they’re older and what their parents would like them to be (11%)

Discussing how children’s own ambitions differ from their parents ambitions for them, Paul Twite, MD Europe, and MENA for Toluna, highlights how the caring professions are parental favourites whilst kids want to be sporting heroes: “Becoming a sports star remained the most popular aspiration of children whilst parents wanted their children to become doctors or nurses.”

Ask your child which one of the following people they admire most?

It seems that reality stars are not as powerful role models as you might think. Twite says: “Respondents were quite clear that their children do not view reality stars as role models (67%), reassuringly, reality stars also featured low in stars children admire.”

Do you think your child views reality TV stars as role models?

So for PROs keen to influence influencers, the people to focus on are parents, not reality stars. Twite concludes: “Mothers remain the gatekeepers of the home despite their traditional role changing in society. Another trend is the decreased importance of the reality star as an effective endorser or marketing tool for a product or brand looking to ride the latest wave.”

Does your child watch the following programmes?


2,016 respondents, with 27:73 split male to female answered six questions on parenting and children between 28 and 29 September 2017.

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