Throughout your life, you’ve probably looked up to at least a few men you’ve known.
Maybe your father had a calm, gentle nature. Maybe your 10th grade history teacher made being intelligent look really cool. Whomever they are, the men in your life have made a great impact on your life.
If you’re a guy, wouldn’t you like to be that role model that young men aspire to be like? Well, the good news is you can!
Use these strategies to become a great role model:
1. Go after your dreams. Reflect on what you’ve always wanted out of life. Sure, it’s changed over the years. But what is it right now that you want to achieve?
The importance of pursuing your passions is a wonderful message to send to younger people. Even if you make mistakes, going for and achieving your dreams is so valuable to you as a future mentor and to someone else who is watching you.
2. Show self-confidence. When you feel like you can do anything you set your mind to, you’re said to have confidence. If you’re confident, it’s probably evident to everyone around you. Young adults and teens in particular look up to men who demonstrate an air of “I can do it.”
3. Hang out with your buddies on a regular basis. When you allow time in your busy schedule to socialize with your friends, you’ll have a more relaxed way of moving in the world. Plus, you’ll gain valuable insight from people who might also have experience in doing the same thing.
This isn’t about competition with your peers, it’s more about helping the next generation grow into people you’d also like to see and admire.
4. Have a sense of humor. Usually young adults can relate to each other best when there’s humor and joking around involved. Let that fun side of you come out, especially when you’re around younger people.
5. Demonstrate a willingness to spend time with kids. Whether they’re your own kids, your nephews, or your friend’s kids, give of your own time to be there for them. Nothing is greater than a man who is there for someone else, giving, helping, showing the path.
6. Be open about your work. Kids are often curious about what kind of work adults do and how that work is accomplished. If a young adult expresses an interest in what you do, share with them about some of the projects you work on and why you like working at your job.
* You might be the only man in a boy’s life who has taken the time to talk just to him about the subjects he’s interested in. They’ll never forget that!
7. Reach out. Consider spending some time at a local Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or other social agency that works with kids and teens. Even devoting two hours a week of your time can make a dramatic impact on someone’s life.
It can be hard for someone to ask for help, even when they can really use it. Go out there and help even before you are being asked.
8. Do something physically active. The research shows that boys learn best when they’re actively doing something. So, take a boy fishing or running with you. Build a birdhouse together or ask him to help you wash your car. A kid can pick up a lot from taking part in an activity with you.
9. Give positive feedback. Practice saying simple, positive comments. Any maturing person craves this type of care and attention. Statements like, “Wow, you did a fantastic job catching that fish” or “You’re a pretty good runner” can plant seeds of confidence that will grow stronger over the years in young people.
10. Avoid egotistical expressions of physical domination. Although some kids might “ooh” and “ahh” if you can bench-press 300 pounds, your part as a role model is to illustrate that men can have all kinds of different talents, skills, and interests. Since most kids have most likely already been exposed to macho stereotypes, find other ways to express yourself to them.
Hey, even in the movies, the greatest heroes have been kind and caring, willing to help out those who need help!
Being a great role model will bring enormous personal rewards and, sometimes, if external accolades also come with, so be it!
You’ll feel satisfaction and pride in knowing you’ve contributed in some way to the healthy development of another human being. Put your efforts into becoming the best role model you can be. Your life and the lives of others will be impacted for generations!