How you can be a father figure

Listen to this podcast by Professor Bruce Robinson, or read the transcript below, on how to be a father figure to a kid who may not have the attention of a father in their life.

How you can be a father figure

I’d like to talk for a moment about father figures. It’s something we talk about a lot in The Fathering Project.

Father figures can be very powerful in a child’s life. Think back to your own life – was there a male, an adult male who spoke into your life and made you feel special? Maybe a grandfather, a schoolteacher, a sports coach or an uncle?

Men – you are a father figure whether you like it or not. The children that come into your house, your friend’s children – you are a father figure to them.

So dads, or males in general, be aware of the power of father figures to change the lives of kids, and take opportunities. I think about a child whose parents had split up and he wasn’t doing well and then a guy took him out with his own kids to get wood on a camping trip and he created an opportunity for this other child by saying, “Come and help us get wood”, and he said, “Mate, I know things have been tough at home, but I reckon you’re a great kid! I’ve seen how you’ve done this and this and this – you’re a winner!”

The power of a father figure to change the future of a child’s life is enormous, so think about it!


Keep a record

Make a note of things about your visit with the children that went well, and things that didn’t. Try to repeat the good things, and make changes to reduce the chances of the not so good things happening again.


Remove distractions

Put kids’ schoolbags, phones and other “distractors” into the car’s boot for the journey to and from school.