New York City 326 199x300 FATHERHOOD: WHAT IS A ROLE MODEL?It is my opinion that in order for me to be a good dad, I have to be a good role model.

What is a role model?  The Webster Dictionary definition for a role model is ” a person whose behavior in a particular role is imitated by others”.  This can have both a positive and a negative effect.  I know that for a fact that my kids watch me like a hawk, which means that I have to be very careful about everything I do.

Let me tell you a little story about a friend’s 5 year old twins.  This friend had a bad habit of swearing.  I was invited to his sister’s wedding and these two boys were the ring bearers.  It was wonderful, seeing  these two come down the isle.  But as they got closer, you could hear them talking.  No, they were swearing.  Can you imagine?  These two sweet little boys and out of their mouths came the words ” F—, F—, F—“.  This was a word their dad used all the time.   In one way it was hilarious.  On the other hand it was embarrassing, very embarrassing.

My whole point is that everything that my kids see me do, they are going to copy me.

Let me tell you another story about my #2 son.  At the time he must have been about 9 or 10 years old.  We were in a McDonald’s on Jamaica Avenue in Queens.  There was a guy holding the door for everyone that came on.  Once in, he would ask if you could give him $.50 toward some food.  I don’t mind helping people, but it just didn’t make any sense to give him the $.50.  So what I did,  I had him follow me to the counter and I ordered him one of the value meals.  At that moment he stopped begging, sat down to eat his food and he quietly left. I felt good about what had happened and my son and I went on to do what ever we were doing.

Two weeks later, my son and I were together again.  This time we were in a Burger King on 125th Street in Harlem.  Here was another guy begging for money so he could eat.   I must have been really hungry because all I could focus on was the hanging menu.   What am I going to get.  What is he going to get.  You know the real decisions.  The next thing I hear a lady saying ” Young man that was a nice thing you did”.  She kept repeating it.  My son answered her, saying “Thank you”.  To make a long story short, I had given my son $5 to put in his pocket.  What he had done was take that $5 and give it to guy who was begging.  He had watched me do the same thing two weeks earlier.

I wonder, if I had given the guy in McDonald’s the finger or cursed him, would my son do  the same thing in Burger King?

Being a role model is something that I have to work on every day and one thing is real.  I am a dad therefore I am a role model.

I love being a dad!

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