In Praise of Loving Fathers
Fathers often take the role as the leader of the family. Loving fathers are the one with all the answers to any question, the planner, and the protector. While this may sound unrealistic, in the mind of a child this is a certainty that provides a sense of security.
Research studies have shown that the presence of a loving father in a home greatly increases a child’s chances of success, confidence, resilience, and physical and mental well-being as they grow. A good father is one of the most valuable assets in our society today. In 1960, just 11 percent of US children lived in homes without fathers. Now, one in four children born in America will live without a father in the home.
However, present and loving fathers in America today have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend with their children. In 1965, fathers spent an average of 2.5 hours each day with their children. Now, fathers are spending about 7.3 hours a day interacting and engaging with their children. This is positive progress, and I have watched that engagement firsthand as my son spends hours each evening with his young son.
Fathers Teach Life Lessons
Good, caring fathers protect their children. Small kids believe that their father will never lie to them, never betray their confidence, and never leave them. Dads are there whenever their kids need help or if they are in some kind of trouble.
As parents are their children’s most important teachers, good dads consider their children’s best interests and draw clear boundaries for them. They talk with their kids about the things they should be aware of whenever they are away from him.
Loving fathers teach their children about consequences and often say, “When you choose a behavior, you’ve already chosen the consequences.” Dads show children how to channel their emotions when they’re disappointed or experience failure. They encourage kids to use their energy for their own good and to improve themselves. Kids watch to see how their dad handles these things in his life. When he hits his thumb with a hammer or loses in a game of checkers, kids watch and learn.
Role of a Father
Daughters need unconditional love from their dad. And a dad’s behavior towards his daughter helps to determine how she thinks and feels about herself. For daughters, a father’s approval and encouragement help them to have confidence in themselves. It gives them a feeling of adequacy. With that certainty, girls are less likely to look for approval from others to develop their self-esteem and self-image. Daughters will judge all men in their life by comparing them to their dad.
Sons also need unconditional love from their fathers. The same-sex parent is the most significant role model in the life of a child. Good fathers are a vital element for a boy who needs someone to share his ideas and dreams with. He needs help from his dad as he grows to be the best man he can be. A boy needs leadership, guidance, and the model of a strong, caring man who earns his respect. He deserves a father of great character that he may someday try to emulate.
Grandfathers Know How to Father
Some grandfathers are the heroes in the lives of little girls and boys without fathers present in their home. Grandfathers never stopped being fathers, so they are experienced at parenting and possibly more patient than they were when they fathered their own children. My dear grandfather was the real deal.
He was a draftsman for an oil company in Western Texas. I would watch him as he sauntered through the den on his way out to work. He always dressed well in his silky slacks and pressed shirt. He jingled the coins in his left pocket as he gave me a wink on the way out of the room. His aftershave lingered in the air for a short time after he was gone.
Often, he let my two older sisters and I go up to his office in town where we were allowed to draw on his lighted drafting table. He let us use the metal rulers and electric erasers to perfect our artwork which he hung with pride on his office wall.
He was a wonderful father to my mother and a hero to her daughters. He made sure that we never wanted for anything. He loved us all for the rest of his life. We miss him.
Send a Happy Father’s Day wish to someone who has made a positive impact on your life.
Tamie is the curriculum director for Birth2Work. Bringing nearly 30 years of teaching experience, she saw firsthand that parent leadership is the most vital force in a child’s life. She has three sons and currently resides in West Texas. In her "free time" she loves reading non-fiction and playing with her grandson. Read full bio >>
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