How to Be a Positive Role Model for Teens

By Tiffany Raiford
Being a positive role model helps shape your teen into the kind of person you want him to become.
Being a positive role model helps shape your teen into the kind of person you want him to become.

Parent, confidant, rule-maker and positive role model are just a few of the hats you wear when you're raising a teen. Parents want their teens to be kind, thoughtful, successful, confident, honorable and responsible, and they can learn these behaviors in many ways, including through the power of positive role models. As a parent, you are one of the most important role models your teen has, which means you need to accentuate the positive.

Make good choices. According to Robyn Silverman, speaker, teen development specialist and writer, every decision you make affects not only you, but your teen, too. If you want to be a good role model for your teen, remember that she is watching and waiting to emulate your behavior. For example, if you forgot to walk the dog, resulting in the dog urinating on the living room floor, you could lie to your teen by telling her you did walk the dog or you can tell her you forgot and accept responsibility for your mistake. The decision you make affects your ability to be a positive role model for your teen.

Finish what you start. One way to be a positive role model to your teens is to commit yourself to whatever it is you start, according to Silverman. For example, if your teen sees you follow-through on your commitments despite them being far tougher than originally thought, he’s more likely to stick with his decisions.

Go outside your comfort zone to have your teen see you as a well-rounded person, according to Silverman. In order to become a positive role model for your teen, she needs to see you live a multifaceted life. She shouldn’t simply see you in the house or in your office. Being a positive role model means showing your teen that she can be successful in life doing more than one thing and not being afraid to accept a challenge or an adventure. Let her see you conquer your fear of heights by taking the family zip-lining or your dream of learning to ballroom dance.


Watch your words and your treatment of others. To be a successful role model for your teens, you must treat others with the kindness and respect that they deserve.

About the Author

Tiffany Raiford has several years of experience writing freelance. Her writing focuses primarily on articles relating to parenting, pregnancy and travel. Raiford is a graduate of Saint Petersburg College in Florida.