Fatherhood: Shaping Responsible Boys and Men
Today, we live in a culture where the word "responsibility" is unpopular and "rights" is
most popular. Everyone wants to assert their rights and no one wants to take personal
responsibility. We are taught to stand up for our rights. But who will stand up for their
responsibility? The end result is a culture where parents want the rights or benefits or
parenthood but not the daily rearing responsibility. Employees want the rights or benefits
of employment but not the accompanying responsibilities. Most unfortunately, this
mindset now dominates much of our young male culture. Many young men want the
rights to conceive a child but not the responsibility to provide for, protect and nurture
the child. This mindset is most prevalent in the gang culture where young boys and men
commit random and careless crimes and feel no responsibility to their community or
How do we turn the dial back to personal responsibility for our young men and away
from rights? Research indicates that boys who grow up in father-present households
are more likely to lead responsible lives which steer clear of teen pregnancy, crime,
illiteracy, substance abuse, poverty and the like. However, this does not happen with the
mere physical presence of a father in the home. The father must be actively involved,
committed, and responsible.
So what can a father do to be involved and instill the value of responsibility in his son?
Here are some recommendations:
- Walk the Talk. Be a living billboard of what true manhood and fatherhood is
to your sons every day. And when you make a mistake, apologize and take full
responsibility because this is what real men do.
- Consistently Demonstrate Respect for their Mother. No matter how great
or challenging the relationship may be, demonstrate respect for your child's
mother on a consistent basis. She may not be your wife but she will always be
your child's mother. Responsible men respect others—Especially women and
particularly their child's mother.
- Take Your Son To Work Where Appropriate. Show him that responsible men do
things because they have too—Not merely because they want to. Let him know
that you do not always feel like going to work but you have responsibility for a
- Talk To Your Son about Girls At The Appropriate Time. Let him know that he is
not to abuse girls or women but act in a responsible manner. Hence, your behavior
with his mother will be critically important here.
- Think before You Act. This is a much-needed trait in our young male culture
where men are encouraged to act and not consider consequences. They must learn
that we can choose our actions but not the consequences. No one can plant apple
seed and reap pears. Actions have uncontrollable consequences.
Responsibility must no longer remain a word of some past time. We must bring this
character trait to forefront of our male culture and regain our young men. When we do
this we will regain our culture and community for a more noble cause and existence.
Fathers…it's time to work overtime at home.