Tuesday, November 13, 2012

International Men's Day - November 19, 2012

International Men's Day is Monday, November 19, 2012. The theme for this year is positive male role models. 

Our theme in 2012: Positive Male Role Models

Every year a new theme is chosen for International Men's Day. This year the theme is "Positive Male role models". M C Hammer said, “I make an active effort to remain a positive role model to kids. They need people to show them there’s another way.” M C Hammer is right, and that is why we encourage you to celebrate International Men's Day and raise funds for your favourite men’s or children's charity of your choice at the same time.

There is a desperate need around the world for more positive male role models. Many boys today do not know what it means to be a man because they don’t have a man in their lives. Many children will go to bed tonight without saying goodnight to their father because he just isn’t there.
Nearly one-fourth of America’s children live in mother-only families. Of the children living with their mothers, 35 percent never see their father and 24 percent see their fathers less than once a month. This is the reality across the western world to a lesser or greater extent. Unfortunately this trend is beginning to occur in less developed countries as well. 

These children live with a woman and more than likely, they are taught by a woman at school. Where do they see and interact with positive male role models? Or, if they are a boy how do they learn what it means to be a man? Television? Movies? On the street?

Even in homes where the father is present research shows that the average father spends less than 10 minutes a day one-on-one with his child. These statistics tend to be more relevant in western countries but they are sadly becoming all the more relevant in other countries as well. We are living in a world where emotional and spiritual fatherlessness is becoming the norm. Many of today’s fathers did not have positive role models to show them what it means to be a father to a child, so they are not there to show their children what it means to be a father.


No matter how great a mother is, she cannot replace what a father provides to a child. Irrefutable research shows that mothers typically are nurturing, soft, gentle, comforting, protective and emotional. Fathers tend to be challenging, prodding, loud, playful, encourage risk taking, and physical. Children need a balance of protection and reasonable risk taking. If a positive male role model is not present in the life of a child there is a void in this area. Children who live in this environment are more likely to be involved in criminal activity, premarital sexual activity, do poorer in school and participate in unhealthy activities.

Studies have shown that involvement of a father or a positive male role model in the lives of children has profound effects on them. Father-child interaction promotes a child’s physical well being, perceptual ability and competency for relating with others. These children also demonstrate greater ability to take initiative and evidence self-control.

How can you make a positive difference for these children?
  • If you are a positive male role model you can Celebrate International Mens Day and involve yourself in the lives of children and young people in your community who can benefit from your influence.
  • If you are a mother you can encourage the involvement of positive male role models in the life of your child.
  • If you are a non-custodial dad you can make the effort to visit with your child more often and be intentional about teaching them important life lessons.
  • If you are an educator you can encourage fathers to take on a more active role in the classroom.
  • If you are working in government you can encourage the celebration of International Mens Day and the development of positive male role models in your country and in your community.
  • If you are a Non Profit Organisation working in the community you can celebrate International Mens Day and promote positive male role models.
  • If you are a faith-based institution you can provide programs that bring fathers together with their children and also encourage male role models to be involved with children in their sphere of influence.
  • If you are a leader in your business encourage your employees to be involved in community efforts such as mentoring groups in the country in which you live i.e. , Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, youth groups, Boys Club or sports clubs.
Every child needs someone who is absolutely committed to their success in life. It is up to us to make sure they have that person.

One more thing. If everyone that celebrated International Men's Day gave $10 to charity, we could raise hundreds of millions of dollars a year to help our children and provide more positive male role models. Together we can make a difference.

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