02.1 What to Know
Have you ever built a model car, boat, or airplane? The idea was that if you followed the instructions, your model should have looked like the picture on the box.
What you learned about being a man and dad works the same way. You learned from your parents and culture a model for how a man and dad should look and act. This model came with instructions to help you grow into the “right kind” of man or dad. These instructions are called “social norms.” As you grew into an adult, this model became a part of whom you are. It has guided your decisions and actions from that point forward. It guides you in how to treat yourself—your physical, emotional, and spiritual health—your children, the mother of your children, your coworkers, and anyone else in your life. Men in all cultures learn some very good things and, in some cases, not so good things about being a man and dad. No matter the culture you grew up in, part of being a good man is to have good character. You can’t be a good dad if you’re not a good man.