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Fathers: Are you an Effective Role Model for Your Children?
By Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

Fathers, what if your life IS the message? What if how you choose to live your life is the central learning that your children have come to earth to discover? What if the lessons you design, the tips you impart, the learning experiences you arrange, the lectures you deliver, the advice you share, the words of wisdom you speak to your children do not have as much impact on them as the way you live?

Are you modeling the message you want your sons and daughters to learn? Take this quiz below and find out. Read each item and answer yes of no. See the scale at the end to determine your male role-modeling quotient.

1. _____ I share my feelings with "I" messages.

2. _____ My children see me eat healthy and nutritious foods.

3. _____ I exercise regularly in view of my children.

4. _____ I don't put tobacco, drugs, or alcohol in my system.

5. _____ When I'm stuck and not sure what to do next, my children hear me ask for help.

6. _____ When faced with a crisis, my behavior shows that I am more interested in a search for solutions than in handing out blame and punishment.

7. _____ When I'm feeling hurt or angry I communicate that with an "I" statement and refrain from sulking, pouting, and yelling.

8. _____ I regularly show affection to my partner in my child's presence.

9. _____ I demonstrate my caring by regularly engaging in activities with my children that they enjoy.

10. _____ I model for my children how to grieve a loss by showing sadness and tears appropriately.

11. _____ I am comfortable in assuming the role of learner on occasion and allowing my child to take the lead.

12. _____ I attempt to create a shared control style of family management by regularly garnering input from all family members.

13. _____ I model closeness and affection by giving my child regular hugs, smiles, and eye contact.

14. _____ I show by my behavior that being with the family is more important than doing for the family.

15. _____ I have a support group or close friends who my children see frequently.

16. _____ My spiritual faith is visible and I actively engage in it in front of my children.

17. _____ I regularly demonstrate my respect for the environment by refusing to litter, spoil, or waste natural resources.

18. _____ My children know what I value and believe and consistently see me living according to those beliefs and values.

19. _____ My children see me treat living things, including plants and animals, with respect and reverence.

20. _____ I admit to mistakes and my children see me make amends quickly.

Count the number of times you answered "yes" and compare it to the scale below.

20-19 yes - FANTASTIC - You are regularly demonstrating and modeling what your children need to see from a father. Give yourself a pat on the back.

18-16 yes - VERY GOOD - Your children will benefit from you modeling a majority of these values. Congratulations.

15-13 yes - ADEQUATE - You are showing your children many positive traits, yet you have some work to do. Why not pick out one of the items above and begin demonstrating it today?

12 and below - NEEDS IMPROVEMENT - Although you demonstrate some admirable male role-modeling behaviors, you have a lot of work to do. Begin today by adding to your repertoire of healthy modeling behaviors. Your children and their father are worth it.

EXTRA CREDIT BONUS QUESTION: If you approached each item seriously and answered them honestly give yourself 2 bonus points. Now refigure your score.

Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are the authors of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose. They also publish a FREE email newsletter for parents and another for educators. Subscribe to them when you visit, www.thomashaller.com or www.chickmoorman.com. Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring confident children. For more information about how they can help you or your group meet your parenting needs, visit their websites today.

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