You Are A Role Model
We have probably all heard the slogan that states that you do not have to be perfect in order to be a perfect parent. The facts are that no one is perfect, and no one is a perfect parent. But what we can be is a quality parent. We can choose to be good dads. We can be dads who are growing and learning to be better dads. That is the purpose of what we do here at Dad's Club. We help others to be better fathers; to be better husbands and boyfriends; to be better men.
So, to begin with, let's look at being a role model. What is a role model? A role model is someone that another person looks to for an example of how to do something, usually for big things like character, life direction, faith, etc.
Being a role model is not usually something we choose. We automatically become role models the moment we become a father; whether we become a father by birth, adoption, fostering, marriage, or relationship. Our kids are looking to us to learn how they are supposed to act, work, walk, talk and how to respond to various situations. Our sons look to us to learn how to treat women and our daughters look to us to show them how they should expect men/boys to treat them. Whatever example we give them, that is what they will use as a template for the rest of their lives.
And, yes, obviously there are people who do not fit into the above description who some look to as role models (teachers, coaches, etc.). I am not talking about them. I am talking about being a role model in our fatherhood.
In looking at being a role model, the first thing to ask is, “What kind of role model will I be?”
You may not have thought of yourself as a role model. You may not have a choice whether or not someone looks to you as a role model, but you do have a choice of what kind of role model you will be. You will choose whether to be a positive role model or a negative role model. You are in control of your choices and actions. Don’t ever buy into the lie of, “I am who I am and that is all I can be.” That’s a crock. You decide who and what you are.
Here are some role modelling Dos and Don’ts.
Do talk with your child(ren).
Do play with your kids (table games, sports, outside activities, etc.)
Do what they want to do (even if it’s silly)
Do ask your kids questions about their thoughts and feelings.
Do put devices away to spend time with them (tell them you’re doing it)
Do be consistent…keep your word
Don’t spend the majority of your time watching T.V. or playing games instead of spending time with your children.
Don’t always make them do what you want to do.
Don’t avoid difficult topics (sex, drugs, puberty) or change the subject if difficult topic arises. It may be awkward, but ask yourself this, “Would I rather my child learn this from me or from some random classmate, teacher, TV show or from social media?”
Don’t keep texting and/or using devices when you are supposed to be spending time with your child. Be present.
Again, no one is perfect or a perfect parent. But, you can decide to be the best father you can be. You can decide to be the best role model you can be.