David Beckham and Cheryl Cole are best role models

The footballer and singer have been praised by parents

Footballer David Beckham and singer Cheryl Cole are the best role models for children, according to a survey.
 
However, almost two-thirds of adults believe school-age children do not have appropriate role models in their lives, according to research by The Children’s Society.

David Beckham was rated as setting the best example for children – more than half (55 per cent) of those questioned said he was a good, or very good, role model, compared to 18 per cent who said he sets a bad example.

Cheryl Cole came second, with 40 per cent rating her positively, compared to 27 per cent who said she was a bad role model. The singer was convicted in 2003 of assaulting a nightclub worker and was sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid community service. Cartoon character Homer Simpson was voted the worst role model.

The poll questioned over 2,000 adults of whom only one in seven said children today looked up to their fathers. Some 32 per cent of adults said they used to consider their mother a role model, 30 per cent believe that children today now see their mother in the same way.

Rashid Iqbal, director of The Children’s Society’s National Mentoring Initiative, said: ‘This poll reflects our concerns that many children are living without positive role models. If children are not looking up to adults this is not the children’s fault.

‘Both parents and society at large have a responsibility to enact a change of heart in our society and actually live by the values that they espouse and be strong and positive role models, providing continuity and support to a child or young person’s life.

‘At the moment this seems more aspiration than reality. Adults have a collective responsibility to make childhood better for all children.’

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