A belated Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, step-fathers, godfathers, grandfathers and all those who provide a paternal influence to someone.
You may have noted that mentoring is an area in which I believe has significant impact. My first book was on the topic, and I write about it often because I know the difference it makes in someone’s life. Parents are especially important as mentors. As I wrote in Mentoring Heroes,
“As parents we have the first opportunity and the first responsibility to mentor our children. We are the ones on which our children count to answer questions based on our own experiences and knowledge or to link them with the resource or person that can help them. Through our words and actions we teach our children about life issues, values, unconditional and non-judgmental love, faith, and compassion. We also teach them about the mentoring relationship and the benefits of learning from people wiser and more experienced than ourselves (69-70).
Fathers offer a different type of mentoring than mothers, so are equally important in this role. Several women interviewed in Mentoring Heroes described how their fathers helped them to feel confident enough to pursue careers in industries less typical for women, such as plumbing, the sciences, and manufacturing. Many of their fathers took them to work with them in these environments, exposing them to possibilities they may not otherwise have had.
Whatever line of work or interests you may have, sharing your experiences with your children widens their scope. Even if they don’t wish to follow your interests, they gain an understanding in areas they may not have ventured. They also learn about teamwork and the value of each member, respect for others and work, and how to strive for their goals.
I applaud the men who reach out to mentor the young ones in their lives and encourage those who don’t to do so. You have the ability to impact someone in a way no one else can and invest in their future, which is the future of the world.
©2013, Mary K. Doyle