I often scan the media for stories highlighting the best of masculinity. Meaning, men taking action that benefits others and that relies upon masculine energy. A story from CBS News that has wider implications got my attention.
“We’re dads. We decided the best people who can take care of our kids are who? Are us,” father Michael LaFitte told CBS News. LaFitte launched a group called Dads on Duty, sparking 40 fathers to sign up and take shifts at Southwood High School in Shreveport to maintain a peaceful environment. It was noted in the story that there have been no instances of violence since Dads on Duty launched in September, and some students said their presence has helped the environment at the school.
I was not surprised by the report’s outcome. Adolescent males respond favorably to the presence of adult men especially regarding the degree they take risks and act aggressively. This is especially important for boys who are not fathered. Growing up to be a responsible man who expresses his masculinity in the light does not come naturally. It has to be taught and modeled by the adult men in his world. An involved father is best but an adult male – relative, coach, teacher, family friend – who is present in the adolescent’s life can be an adequate father figure.
Single moms regardless of what choices or circumstances that have lead them to raise their children without a father should pay particular attention to seeking a male role model to interact with their children. This is especially important for their boys during adolescences when they are most at risk for impulsivity and violence.