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Role Models Matter

Building Boys Into Men

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying, “A son is a son until he takes a wife, and a daughter is a daughter all her life.” We teach our sons to take care of their future wives without knowing it by teaching them to be caring, respectful and, of course, understanding. If they have a great father figure, they tend to learn and look up to them and follow that role. What happens if they don’t? I often wonder how they end up being? Regardless of their training, males are still expected to be the man around the house, filling those big shoes.

When my boys were very young, they were so sweet and special with their questions and their learning. My girls at the same age always felt a bit more strong-minded and very opinionated and maybe surer of themselves. Not growing up with boys in my family other than my dad, I could feel my sons’ vulnerability. They are trusting us as parents to help them and watch over them to grow into who they are today.

What is it that makes a young boy grow into a nice, respectable man? I was recently invited to a nonprofit organization called YAC, located in Camarillo. I was in tears watching the success of John Diaz and his tribe of incredible men who started this organization to help boys who didn’t have a role model or a father figure. Teaching them through athletics to believe not only in themselves, but in God. To live a worthwhile life. This has helped them to stay on the right track when it is so easy to fall down or take up with the wrong people.

They also have a special father/son day, so they can try to repair those ties that are sometimes lost. This gentle man is very passionate about helping girls too, since he has a daughter and can see how delicate that relationship is and how easily it can slip away. The kids that have gone through the program have learned so much, and many return to help give back, since they feel how rewarding it has been for them.

I really feel it’s so important to live by example. To any of the men in your life who might not be living by example, please don’t let them ever think it’s okay for them not to treat you or anyone without respect—we are all special and God’s chosen children.

Kim Pagano is brought to you by the award-winning talk radio station AM 1590 KVTA. She brings you the Brighter Side of the 805, Saturdays from 7 to 8 a.m., reminding us how important it is to "Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good." Subscribe to her podcast: ITunes/The Kim Pagano Show.