Many mums that are sole parents wonder how to find good reliable male role models for their children. They often feel that they need to be both mum and dad to their kids. These mums are often battling to get some money to put food on the table and look after their kids. To say to these mums, “I’ve got one more job for you which is to find a father figure,” they may just think, “Oh, don’t lay anything more on me.” So it’s up to men to take the initiative.
Taking the lead to be a father figure
If your sister is a sole parent, be the uncle that those kids need. Or if your wife’s best friend is a sole parent, be the father figure that those kids need. When your kids play with other kids, if any of those kids don’t have a dad, be a father figure to them. When you go camping, invite them to join you. When you go to the footy, invite them to join you. When you go to McDonald’s, invite them to join you. Take it upon yourself to be a father figure for that child.
As an example, say you take one of those kids camping. Your time together creates an opportunity where you might say, “Hey Tom, come and help me collect some wood.” And when he’s walking through the bushes, say, “Now Tom, I know you’ve had a few problems at home but mate, you’re a great kid. I’ve seen the way you do this. You are a winner mate and I really believe in you and you can come and see me anytime and we will talk about the sort of ways that can work out for you in life.” You might think such five-minute conversations wouldn’t work. It does. Many times, people have told a story about someone who made an effort and that’s all it took in life.
When asked to think back to a person, when you were a child, a person who said something either positive or, sadly, sometimes negative. Think of a person who said something that greatly impacted your life. Not one of us fails to do so immediately. Sometimes it was a person you had huge admiration for but perhaps not a lot of contact with. Many people say that one of those moments where a person they admired said something positive about them made them think, well this guy, this bloke is really good and he says I’m OK. So it must be true. What a difference that makes in the life of a child.
Please listen in to Bruce Robinson’s interview with Graham Mabury. The audio has been reproduced with permission.