Did you have a be-there Dad? If not, were you able to turn to a grandfather or uncle for advice?
Dad, Grandpa or Uncle- Kids Need a Good Male Role Model
Your father (hopefully) was your first role model as a strong and caring male. No matter how old or smart you get, there is a longing in your heart to call out and be heard by your be-there dad. If you did not have that treasure in your home, you may have had to learn the characteristics of an emotionally healthy male by watching and interacting with others.
All Kids need adult male figures who respect and care for them in order to grow into their full potential. If not found in your immediate family, perhaps you gathered information from another kind of mentor, a coach, relative, neighborhood grocer.
It is instinctual to search for that strong male who will protect us from harm, if at all possible.
If there is not a father, often the role will be taken by a Grandpa or Uncle. In my parenting classes, many males have told me how a kind uncle or grandfather took the place of a missing father. Their influence taught the young men, either by example or words what “Good, Responsible Men” do and how they act in life. It was this example that they used as a guide when they became parents. They recognized the characteristics they wanted to emulate and those they wanted to avoid.
Role Model by Birth and By Choice
Extended family males such as uncles and grandfathers can and should be one of a child’s most valuable resources. They can fill the role of kind protector and guardian to any number of children.
Many children do not come into this world in stable conditions and loving families. Their immediate role models are models of dysfunction and chaos. In order for that child to grow into a productive, confident adult, there must be other mentors who will step up to the plate.
How can a male learn to father if he has never been fathered? How can a female choose kind, respectful partners if she has never experienced the selfless unconditional love of an adult who will teach and guide in a positive way. Only if they have role models who demonstrate healthy relationships can children bridge this gap.
Aware But Not Afraid
Recently in the news with the abuse of young men by both Catholic priests and sports coaches, it may make it hard to trust adult males with our precious children. Be aware, but not afraid. Most priest, coaches, uncles, grandpas and neighborhood guys are good and stable individuals.
As adults we need to work with our kids to understand what makes a good role model. You will find more information in my book Caution Without Fear available on Amazon.
Important Males for Young Girls
If a girl has not been told she is beautiful and smart by a significant older male by the time she is 14 years old, she will never believe it from another man. Those dads, grandpas, uncles and other supportive and important males who show appropriate appreciation and respect for the young girls in their lives, can boost their confidence and self-esteem.
Responsible and respectful male role models help girls and females to stretch their ideas, expand their horizons and learn to communicate with the other sex. If the relationship is one of trust and love, girls will look for a mate and partner who exhibit similar traits.
They will also gain valuable experience in personal interactions both personally and professionally when they are free to express opinions and ideas to an older male.
Mentors Important for Young Men
Children, both male and female thrive when caring adults nurture relationships with them. Young boys, especially need a variety of adults in their life to provide a diverse example of role models. A number of studies have shown that when boys become teens, they have a higher rate of confidence and courage if they have had strong male role models.
Dads, uncles, grandfather are all in unique positions of developing this special bond of respect and love with those children they nurture. They can share values, experiences and warm hugs when life gets rough.
1. If your relationship with your Dad was not good, did you find a “father-figure” to fill that role?
2. Were either your grandfathers or uncles available to guide, direct and encourage you?
3. Can you look back on your life and see something positive you gained from these relationships with Dad, Grandpas and Uncles, male role models in your life?
Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, a parent educator and international speaker on family issues invites you to get a free ebook on Using Encouraging Words at http://www.judyhwright.com You can also find affordable and effective parenting books at http://amzn.to/kindlebyjudy