Stand-UP-for-the-childrenDads 4 Life is all about changing the next generation of children, one Dad at a time.  While our focus is on Dads and educating, mentoring and supporting them, we cannot overlook the needs of hurting children.   Life for a child is often grounded in the parents. Parents set the tone for how life works for a child.   If there are no ‘father figures’ the impact is even greater.  Our job as men is to make sure every child has a mentor, a grandfather, or a friend involved in their lives for that grounding and stability.  I often tweet out messages to fathers and post messages to our Facebook fans about how a child needs their Dad.  Recently I wrote, “ A daughter needs a Dad to teach her to weigh the consequences of her actions and make decisions accordingly”.  “A Son needs a Dad, who will not punish him for his mistakes, but help him learn from them.”     I realize how thought provoking these sayings are, but also how hurtful this can be to a single parent thinking  … ok, that sounds good, but what am I to do?

I am calling all Men!  Who will you reach out to and become that mentor?   Will you become a Big Brother or a Big Sister, friend, teacher, coach, or a pal?  Who do you know that needs love, support, care, and perhaps even financial assistance?  There is not one size fits all for Fatherhood or parenting.   Each family and child are different.   What child can you befriend in your neighborhood to let them know you care and will support them.  Every child needs and wants stability in their life.  It’s up to us to make a difference.  My challenge to you. What will you do?

I realize there are so many needy children in orphanages, on the streets, in foster care, or alone in America.  The numbers are even more overwhelming internationally.  Not one person can do it alone.   The needs are great, but both men and women can help.   The children’s’ needs are often simple.  What a child expresses they ‘want’ and what they ‘need’ are also two different things. One may show they want a computer, while the need is daily food and shelter.  One may desperately just be looking for love.

Life is not fair, but we are in a place where each one of us can make a difference in a life. You may focus on feeding the homeless, someone else focuses on helping Moms, divorced dads, supporting single parents, or a Dads support group …… the needs go on.    The list can be extensive that has a harsh impact on a child and their future.  Whether it is death, no home, no money, food, lack of education.  Each loss causes a child to grieve in some form … often the rest of their life.  Their life is different unless we do something!  We can change a future of a child.  We can change our nation!

While parenting styles and customs may be slightly different based on cultures, the international visits made it clear to me that Fatherhood is the same in all countries.  A Father figure is important in ALL children’s lives.  Establishing a Dads 4 Life internationally is such a step, but there is much work to be done yet.  Even more important than a Dads 4 Life Chapter Internationally is how I can personally help a child have a better life and grow up to be a productive intelligent adult.

We can make a difference in the next Generation!