Why Fathers Matter to Kids

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The family is the foundation of life. It is the basic organization and where family members learn what is expected of them in life and their part in the scheme of things. It is in the family setting that children understand their external environment. Young children and teenagers figure out who and what they are by what they are shown by example as well as being told verbally and non verbally by important adults.

The lessons taught by fathers and other male role models, even in the most casual level builds the confidence and self esteem of young people. The very presence of a dad who cares sends important messages not only about life and society in general, but the individual child's capabilities and interests is a precious gift. While children of any age and gender benefit from having a Father figure, it is especially important for boys to have a male role model validate their experiences.

What Happens if There Is No Masculine Role Mode Present
It takes a village to raise a child, and if the village is made up of relatives, great. If not, then form a "tribe" that will care for your children. Involve your children in hobby interests, Sunday School, sports, scouting and after school activities. Make sure there are safe, strong, and kind men available to teach, mentor and be-friend the child. They need to see how resilient adults handle life and contribute to make the world a better place.

You will be surprised as children are exposed to different people how the child is able to then organize and make sense of the external and internal experiences and decide if they have power to change the future or if they are a victim of the past.

I have mentioned in other articles the value of volunteering as a family in order to meet other families who have similar standards and interests.

Good Fathers Keep their Promises
In order to instill trust in others, a mature person keeps their promises, as much as humanly possible. Kids hear words, but more importantly, they see actions. Fathers and role models encourage the children of the world by their presence, their interest, and their involvement in their children's lives. it is not so much what they say, but what they do.

Fathers Predict the Future of their Children
Studies have repeatedly found that the dad is the most accurate fortune teller of what their children will be. If the man who is the role model or father figure says; "You are a lazy slob. You are dumb. You will never make it." and other negative messages, the child internalizes and believes this important authority figure.

However, conversely, if the male authority figure encourages, compliments and inspires the child to try and to appreciate success, the child grows up confident and courageous.

Give the gift of Presence, not Presents
If you are a father reading this article, then be present with your children. If you are not physically able to be present, then write them notes, telephone or send them e-messages which encourage and support them. Make them the focus of your attention. Be a parent, guide and teacher. Your children are counting on you.

Invitation to Build Self Esteem in You and Your Kids
Please go to www.EncourageSelfConfidence.com for a more complete guide to building your self confidence and that of the children you love. You will be glad you did.

Judy H. Wright is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including end of life. You are invited to visit our blog at www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you at www.ArtichokePress.com.

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