It may not be uncommon to read about the job description of dads that have multi-functional roles of being a cab driver, teacher, cook and wrestling coach, to name a few. His role as a father is unique; it complements that of a mom in several ways. Both are important in a child’s overall development.
A dad’s contribution to the lives of his children in terms of educational attainment, emotional development and self-confidence is distinct and enduring. These attributes are the ingredients of being a great role model father.
Being a great role model is best described in the dictionary as:
“A person whom everyone refers to or looks up to as an example to others”
Children will always learn by means of observing the people they live with and the people they love and respect. They will imitate whatever they see or hear which raises the following questions:
- What do kids learn from us, when it comes to both our positive and negative behaviours?
- Besides us, who can our children take after?
By seeing what I do, my kids will learn by my actions on how I treat others. They will, also, learn how to handle disappointment, anger and depression because they are watching me when I deal with these emotions.
- When I feel down and out, am I eating, drinking alcohol, taking my frustration out on my wife?
- After a bad experience, do I pick myself up and soldier on?
- Am I living a healthy lifestyle?
- Do I use foul words or offend others in any way?
- Am I generous?
- How do I treat total strangers when they ask me for help? Do I brush people off, or do I take the time to help people?
- When I don’t like someone do I talk bad about them behind their back?
To be an amazing role model for your children you should
- Admit defeat or admit when you are wrong
- Apologize to people whom you have done wrong to
- Show your children that you should treat others the way you wish to be treated
- Help people in need
You don’t always have to do everything right but always remember that they will look at you as a role model and learn whatever you do is normal. These lessons in life are a great foundation for your children so try to teach them the best you can.
Being vulnerable and open or showing negative reactions to life’s tribulations can be argued to be a sign of weakness. However, as a role model, you have to lead by your actions. Be honest and upfront with your kids and they will be able to discover new personal and social skills and how to solve problems that will guide them on their way to adulthood. This is done in a way that they can best understand which should be appropriate to their age. So, speaking with a teenager has a different approach than with a small child.
We might ask ourselves if we are poor role models and say that it is hard to change, at this point. Leopards don’t change their spots. Change begins when you realize the things that need to be changed. You can tell your kids that you didn’t handle the situation well, and this is not the right behaviour. Admitting this and thinking of a better way to respond to the situation is not wrong, in fact, it show your character and your ability to move forward during difficult times.
So how then can dads serve as role models? Well, the answer lies deep within each father and how far he is willing to go to change and adapt his personality, behaviour and values to become the kind of role model for his children. At the end of the day, all fathers want the best for their children so the answer is simple, change for the better work at it slowly and eventually, your will kids will follow and grow into to be a person they can be proud of because of you.