Friday, October 8, 2010

Male Involvement and The Importance for Young People

Today I am posting something that was sent home to us from Caleb's school this week. A few things about being a strong male role model for young children. As we have seen in the last few weeks, there is a lot going on that is showing that male involvement may in fact be a strong factor in the lives of young children (who knew right?) and after I read this I decided immediately that I wanted to share it with all of you.

This came to us from People Incorporated of Virginia who runs the Head Start and Early Head Start preschool programs in our area. Check out the websites for more info on the wide range of services and programs they have to offer.  We have been blessed to be involved with the Head Start program that Caleb attends. He loves going to school, loves his friends and teachers, and it has been great for him and for us as proud parents of such a growing young man.

Thanks to People Incorporated for sharing the following piece with families involved in your programs. A great read  for all dads who live a life of involvement when it comes to their roles as a parent, and also how to be their to other young children as a role model in their lives as well.  Here is this piece, in its entirety.

Male Involvement

The Importance for Young Children

Children learn from those that they are surrounded by. A child's parent is their first and foremost teacher and creates a model for their child in ways that men and women should act. Children look up to their mothers and fathers throughout their lives for guidance. Men especially are strong role models for children. Sadly, not all children's fathers are involved in their lives, bu no choice of the child. What is important is that every child has a good male role model in their lives whether it is their father, grandfather, or a friend.

Tips for Being a Strong Male Role Model for Young Children

  1. Be Calm - Kids will always do things to provoke you, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. A good role model should keep his temper, not yelling, screaming, or initiating huge punishments for minor offenses because he's angry.
  2. Be Loving - It's important to remind kids that you love them. This includes telling them that you love them, but also other things, like being supportive when they need it, wiping away tears, and hugging them .. not matter how big they get. Showing you love them is just as inmportant as telling them ... but don't forget to tell them.
  3. Be Patient - Sometimes you may wish your kids would just get around to learning something already, or that they would finally be responsible and take care of their chores without having to be reminded 143 times. It's at these times that you need to be patient and remember that kids are kids... give them time, give them your patience. They are WORTH IT!
  4. Be Proud - It's sort of a cliche  that fathers are proud of their children... but a lot of men don't realize how important it is to actually tell their kids, not just their friends and co-workers! Kids need to know that you're proud of them.. if they know this. they will try to do the same things again that made you so proud. If you show them you are proud of their good grades, they will get good grades... if you show them you are proud of them for doing something nice or helping their younger sibling, they will try to make you proud again.
  5. Be Honest - It's important to be honest with your children. Again your kids will learn from you, and you want them to be honest. If you don't want your child to know about something, whether because it's inappropriate fir them or for other reasons, tell them that... don't just lie to cover it up!
  6. Be Firm - When you set rules, make them stick. Have appropriate consequences for breaking the rules. Remember, you may need to make exceptions, but the exception shouldn't be the rule.
  7. Be Yourself -  It's important to be yourself around kids. Let them see and know the real you. Children will learn from you that it is okay to be yourself, and this will help them develop their own sense of self-confidence.
  8. Be a Father First (or care-taker) and their Friend Second - It is awesome to be friends with kids, but it is even more important that they have that strong male role model as a Father in their lives (whether you are their DAD or not, model what you expect of them).
  9. Be Respectful - It's important to teach children to respect you... but it's also very important that you respect them too. This means giving them room to grow and learn, and treating them as their own individual person.
  10. Be There - Children need that male influence. They need a man who is in their life, who pays attention to them, who is interested in them, and who does things with them. Time without attention, like in marriage, is worse than no time at all. Show them they are important to you... give them your time and attention.

** Please visit the People Incorporated of Virginia website for more information on their programs and how you can be involved **


A Daddy Blog said...

Thanks for sharing this. I think I'm going to print the list and tape it to my bathroom mirror. It's intuitive stuff, but sometimes having the reminder helps. My daughter is 26 months old and I see how she observes and absorbs everything. Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

great post, really stirred up all kinds of great thoughts that will now keep me up for hours I'm sure...! I'm going to have to post something about telling your kids you are proud of them, I have a story that I heard another dad share once that I could never forget. Printing this list out sounds like a great idea I might do that too.

Deb said...

Thanks for sharing this. Not having a male role model in my home while in my early years HAS left some empty spots; as an adult I still struggle with esteem and acceptance. God bless the men who stick it out!

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