Finding a Father Figure

By Josh Roometua, high school

When I was seven, my dad and mom divorced, and I moved to the U.S. I looked at what my dad did in Tahiti. He wasn't a very good influence. He never paid child support even though he had the money. He would never call and never visit anymore. I didn't like that he made my mom work so hard. I needed a father-figure.

I think it's very important that throughout a kid's teenage years he has a fatherly figure that he can look up to -- someone who can help him determine what kind of person he wants to be in life, or teach him how he should act around women, or how he should treat his wife. If all a guy ever sees is what his friends do when they're teenagers, he might not be a good person when he's married.

It's important to have a role model of someone who's respectful. I started looking up to my mom's boyfriends. They helped me a lot. Then I went to a different school, which made life a lot easier for me. My coaches are awesome father-figures for me. There's one coach I look up to in particular. He's someone I would want to be when I grow up. He respects other women, his wife, everyone. I also like him because he knows how to be cool with kids but still have them in control. He is very successful in his life, in his relationships with his daughters, and with his business.

It's a good thing to know how to balance everything at the same time, but it takes some time to do it. Even though I need my mom, I'm glad I have my coaches in my life, too. They have helped me feel secure and not scared of things. They have helped show me the way. They are good role models for me. They've shown me what it means to be a good coach, husband, and father. They're respectful and kind. Having them as role models is helping me feel that I can succeed at whatever I want to become.