A lot of people talk about the need for boys to have male role models growing up. But what about boys who are fatherless? Divorce, abandonment, and death are all possibilities for a father to be out of the picture. In 2010, the United States Census revealed that approximately 27% of American households are single-mother households. That means that over one-quarter of our nation’s boys are growing up with limited contact with their fathers, if any at all. But learning how to be a gentlemen, one who treats women with respect and dignity takes examples. So where can you find a positive male role model for your son? Read on to find out.
While there is certainly a wider age gap between grandfathers and their grandsons, grandfathers can still serve as good role models. They may not be as active as they once were, but that doesn’t mean they can’t teach boys how to be behave like gentlemen. Grandfathers may be willing to step in and help you when it comes to showing your son how to be responsible. Although a grandfather may live far away, today it is possible to connect online. If you believe that your son’s grandfather may serve as a good role model, help your son to connect with him.
Other Male Relatives
Your immediate family is a good place to start looking for male role models. Relationships with your son’s brothers, cousins, and uncles can help to show him what it actually looks like to be an affectionate, satisfied, and confident man. Male relatives that live close to you could be the best positive examples. Ask your relatives if they are willing to spend time with your son in order to demonstrate the values that you want him to grow up with.
Men in the Community
You may be able to find male role models outside of your family through organized activities. If your boy plays sports, his coaches can serve as positive examples. The more connected you are in the community, the more possible it will be for your son to spend time with leaders. Scouts is another way for your boy to learn from men in the community. It’s an all-boys environment with a lot of structure, which is good when it comes to helping boys learn. If you don’t have the opportunity to put your son into sports or clubs, consider having a word with the father of one of his close friends from school. A friend’s father doesn’t have to play a large role but since friends usually spend time together around the family, it may be a good way to give your son someone to look up to.
School Teachers and Church Leaders
The majority of teachers are women, but in some cases male teachers in elementary schools can stand in as role models for fatherless children. Some male teachers may be involved in mentoring or after-school programs and extra-curricular activities. If you are involved in a church in your community, you may also be able to find good male role models there. Youth workers, pastors, and members of the congregation may volunteer to work one-on-one with children to show them an example.