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To many, fathers serve as the first male personal hero in their life. He is the one that rocks us to sleep, looks lovingly in our eyes and is our first glimpse at the importance a male figure is in our life. Unfortunately, there are too many children that do not have this important influence. I have become all too aware of this through my husband's work as a Forensic Psychologist. I'm not quite sure of the exact statistics but I can say for sure that the overwhelming majority of juveniles that he sees for getting into trouble with the law do not have a male role model to help guide them through the journey of their childhood. Having a positive male role model is so very essential for both boys and girls. It doesn't have to always be a dad. This person can also be a family friend, mentor, teacher or any male that steps up to take an active part in helping a child navigate through their life.
As we celebrate Father's Day today, we celebrate all the amazing men that serve as positive role models. Your presence is essential for at least these five reasons:
1. You serve as an example to boys of what it means to be a man. A young boy learns from watching adult males in his life how to treat a woman, how to be comfortable and grow through boyhood, and what it means to grow up and help support his family and eventual fatherhood roles.
2. You serve as an example to girls of how she should expect to be treated by a boy. You show her that she is to demand respect from the other sex and through your example she learns about a healthy loving relationship.
3. You help your daughters to have a higher self esteem. Research shows young women with engaged fathers are more likely to have a positive self esteem than those that do not have an active positive male role model.
4. You help a boy navigate growing up. He learns how to channel anger in an appropriate way and research shows that boys with an active father presence are much less likely to get into trouble with the law.
5. You are their first personal hero. This is the most amazing and incredibly important role that you hold! A child looks up to their father with awe and in their eyes their dad is the ultimate hero. This holds a huge responsibility and a beautiful opportunity to truly make a difference in a child's life.
To all the dads out there, thank you! Your role is so very important. To those that step in to serve as father figures, you are so needed! As our society continues to see more and more children growing up without an active positive male role model, those that step up to take on this awesome opportunity are truly shaping the lives of our children and are to be honored as heroes.