Have you ever asked why young people have God fathers, role models, and other leaders who are father figures in their lives?
It is because the world is designed to ask what circle you belong to, and the world does not seem to favor individuals with no father figure.
The world is in a chain; it is ruled by those in powers. This chain is broken down into different cycle and roles for different people. In every system of this world; academics, spiritual, career, talent and lots more, there are people who are already made. Great leaders whose stories inspires you.
A father figure like the name implies indicates that such an individual symbolizes your father. The individual does not have to be your biological father, he could be your foster father, your pastor, your mentor, your uncle or anybody who caters for you like a father. I strongly believe everyone needs a father figure in their lives; that fatherly drive to get your dreams going.
However, there are are things you must check whenever you want to choose a father figure.
A father figure is a role model, could also be a mentor. It all depends on whatever position you have allowed your father figure occupy, and also what potential your father figure has.
Sometime last year, I commented on a writer I admired so much post, that I have a feeling that he is my E-dad. As simple and harmless as I wanted it to be on that post, he took it seriously. He started to take note of my every post of Facebook. Eventually he posted an advertisement of an internship; I showed interest, submitted my motivation letter and I got it.
I sent him a text on Father’s Day, appreciating him for being more fatherly with me.
This should also tell you that you need to be careful in choosing the right father figure. Recently, I had a conversation with my dad about family and finances, and he emphasized on how much fatherhood would have helped him if his father was alive while he was growing up or if he had an uncle who was responsible enough to cater for him. My dad talks greatly about father figures, and I will be writing from a reflection of what I learnt from him and my experience.
1. Why do you admire that man?
This is a tangible question. You need to ask why you feel really drawn to a certain teacher who is a male. Why you are so connected to your pastor? Or with your president at the fellowship? There has to be a reason why you walk up to that man to mentor you or to become your school father.
2. Create a baseline for your admiration
No doubt, I admire my E-dad’s writing skills, the way he tells stories, passes his messages across, the way he writes and manages his affairs, it is top notch. I know him to be a man of quality. Ask why you like him, and rate that admiration.
3. Do a survey of his personal life
I believe in the power of duplication and this is usually obvious in mentorship. Mentees overtime act like their mentors.
To prevent you from doing the wrong thing or getting unknowingly attached to a wrong style or knowledge, you should evaluate his life.
- Who does he listen to
- What does he treasure the most?
- How does he treat those following him?
- His attitude and character
You don’t need to text him asking him all of these questions, have an intelligent conversation with him and you will know who he is and what his values are.
4. Map out styles worth of emulation from him
A friend of mine is from a polygamous home, hence he did not get to enjoy the fatherly care most of his peers did. As he grew up, he got a foster father who he listens to. He hardly says one sentence without making a reference to what his foster father has said. He wants to emulate everything his foster father does.
The truth is, you will get to see the ugly side of this individual. You have to differentiate between what you want and what you don’t want.
5. Know your limit
Your father figure is not totally different from your biological father. A few differences could include the age difference between you and the individual, complexion and family background.
Your biological father is obligated to take care of your needs. Not all father figures can take care of your needs, they are mostly there to help you through whatever you are facing and to help you become a better person.
6. Do not overrule the red flags
Sometime last year, I chatted up with a guy who happens to be 5 years older than my younger brother. I had to ask him some questions because I noticed some changes in the characters of my younger brother. I had to call the attention of this young adult, because indirectly my younger brother was watching him.
Like I said, the world is in a cycle.
What are red flags?
Red flags could be anything. It could be his values, opinions about money. I will also advise that it is more appropriate to have a figure father of the same religion with yours.
6. Don’t be too quick to choose a father figure
The excitement of being an undergraduate could be so tempting to make you choose a school father who does not care about your academics, but rather what he wants to get from you.
As a fresher in the university, you get to meet people who seem to care for you. They want you to start attending their fellowship, attend tutorials, they want you to move to their lodge and lots more. The truth is, don’t be too quick to say ‘YES’ to these people.
Give it a little time, and you will know why such individual act in such a way.
7. It is never too late to go back
Overtime, I have realized that teenagers and young adults find it difficult to get out of trouble or temptations especially when they are being lured by someone they respect.
8. Stay away from a father figure who does not respect his own biological father
I strongly disapprove children who disrespect their parents.
A father figure who disrespects his father, or parents is sure a red flag.
I bet, he will not teach you how to respect your father. Rather, he will make it easier for you to become rebellious, steal and lie to your parents.
The right father figure is important because fathers set landmarks for their children. The above points are applicable to any system that you operate in. Academics, spiritual, career, talents etc.
I ask again, who is the father figure around you?
What do you think about father figures? Do you have one?
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