Health: Would your son benefit from a male mentor in his life?

The Big Buddy relationship offers friendship, support and a good male role model.

Big Buddy is calling for boys aged between seven and 14 without a dad in their lives who could benefit from having a supportive male mentor – a Big Buddy.

The Big Buddy relationship offers friendship, support and a good male role model. Big Buddies turn up, spend time with their Little Buddy and come back again and again, it’s simple and it works.

CEO Paul Burns says the organisation currently has kind-hearted Big Buddies available in Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton and Wellington waiting to make a difference in a young boys life.

“Together our Buddies enjoy the simple things in life – walking the dog, throwing a ball around, going fishing, watching rugby, just everyday things that they want to do together, Burns says.

There are many reasons why a boy might not have his father in his life and this absence can strongly impact them. Research shows that boys growing up without a male role model are more likely to struggle with anxiety, feelings of abandonment and reduced emotional security.

“We focus on the fact that boys develop resilience, build confidence and make better decisions when they have a positive male role model. Our surveys show the boys being mentored gain confidence and become more curious about the world. Their relationships with family members and their peers also improve.

They generally do better in life and are just happier. “Every day we hear stories from our community of Big and Little Buddies thriving together,” Burns says.

“Over 1000 Little Buddies have been matched with Big Buddies since 1997. It’s not just that they get to do more ‘blokey things’, the Little Buddy’s confidence grows, they smile more and become happier. Mums and caregivers describe the difference as simple but profound.”

If you’re the female carer of a 7-14 year-old boy whose dad is not in his life and want to find out more, click here.