The significance of the positive male influence

Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s June 2017 issue. June cover story! Never miss an issue, check out SFM’s digital editions, here article by Katie Backer photo by Jana Graham Photography C.S. Lewis once said, “We are what we believe we are.” This short yet profound statement can hold a punch. Young people today are growing up in a world full of progress yet overstimulation, freedom yet oppression, and opportunities yet competition. This world full of paradox can leave our youth feeling confused and overwhelmed. A positive influence may be all it takes to set a child on the right path. When a role model pours time, energy, and light into a child’s life, this can go a long way in steering them toward a bright future and helping them to believe that they are good, capable, and valued. Women are often categorized as being the “nurturers.” Children can turn to their mother or grandmother for help and comfort. If that is the case where does that leave the men? A positive male influence in a child’s life can greatly impact their lives! Just as women are needed in a child’s life, a male role model is vital in a child’s development and progress. Think back to your own upbringing. Was there an influential male in your life? Your Dad, Granddad, coach, teacher, or pastor. Many of us can think back to a male who helped shape and challenge us to be better, work harder, and dream bigger! Men ARE needed in children’s lives, and knowing the impression they can make can help them affect even more young people. They can help the next generation believe in their own abilities. Dayne Dyer, owner of Beartooth CrossFit, is known in our community for not only helping people reach their fitness goals, but also inspiring today’s youth. He actively encourages each aspiring athlete who steps into his gym to push themselves. He challenges them while also challenging himself. Dayne is a firm believer in leading by example. He credits much of his mindset to his father who had a great work ethic yet still made quality time for his family. If Dayne asks the athletes to focus on nutrition, he is also going to model it. He will forego that fast food meal for a chicken breast and broccoli. He believes that, in time, his athletes will remember his example and make similar, positive choices. Beyond fitness and nutrition, Dayne is also a Little League coach. Having been greatly inspired by one of his own coaches, Dayne works to create a safe, comfortable space where his athletes can push themselves while still being allowed to be vulnerable. He believes that helping an athlete goes beyond sports; it is about creating and building leaders. Dayne is a firm believer in persistence. Having the athletes know his ground rules is key. Dayne has “high demands,” such as no cell phones while training. He said at first his rules can catch some athletes off guard but within weeks they will rise to the demand. He explained, “In a world where everything is inconsistent it’s amazing how fast they grow when they get that consistency.” Being a positive influence goes beyond being a father. Men can use Dayne’s model in their current positions to make healthy strides with the next generation. With summer upon us, now may be a good time to try out that sport. Let Grandpa take the kids fishing! Dads, set aside some uninterrupted playtime! Male influences are wonderful ways to make a difference in your child’s life and lay the early foundation of security, confidence, and motivation. With these positive interactions children will grow to do the same for others just as Dayne Dyer did!