When author Patrick Bailey offered to write a guest for Father’s Day, I readily agreed. The following are his thoughts about the crucial part fathers play in the lives of their children.
Why The World Needs Good Dads:
A Look Into The Importance Of Fatherhood
Amidst the highly-celebrated Mother’s Day with great emphasis on the sacrifice of maternal figures in our lives, what is often overshadowed is the important role of fathers. Fatherhood is an occupation that is as old as time–yet its relevance speaks volumes until today. Just how important are dads, and what makes a good father figure?
We are pretty sure you’ve heard of the phrase “Daddy Issues”. These refer to people, women in majority, who had to deal with their formative years in the absence of a father. Stereo-typically, they are described as those who warped personalities or problematic dating relationships because of an unhealthy connection with their fathers. Either their fathers were absent, abusive, emotionally distant, or all of the above.
This simple modern-context phrase says a lot about the importance of dads in our lives. Having a healthy relationship with our fathers is crucial during our formative years–a large influence towards our personality, emotional health, and outlook in life.
Why are fathers important?
Fathers influence the kind of relationships we have with others. According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, a government body that focuses on improving father and child relationships, absent fathers are considered a ‘pathological situation’.
NFRC stated that absent fathers result in children who grow to have unhealthy emotional attachments. They are likely to have codependent relationships, have poor self-esteem, or are abusive towards their partners. Thus, having a responsible, loving father figure in a child’s life teaches them to build healthy relations with others as well.
Fathers provide for their family
Ideally fathers ensure health and development for their children. Fathers are also known as providers–whether through financial, household, or moral support. This allows children to receive many positive opportunities for their growth and development.
An article in Everyday Health revealed that children who grow up in single parent households (such as single moms) are likely to grow up under a lifestyle with financial struggles. The absence of a providing father impacts a child’s ability to get positive opportunities in education, living environment, and even having nutritious food on their table.
Fathers give us a part of our identity
There are also studies that explore the impact of absent fathers, especially during the context of World War II in history. Men were drafted early into war, resulting in young ones without the presence of a father’s discipline in their lives. The researchers speculated that the lack of supervision results in increased incidence of violence among growing children. Along with violence, some of these children succumb into negative peer influences such as substance abuse and juvenile delinquency.
As parents, the importance of instilling positive values could not be more emphasized. Children need to have consistent role models when it comes to integrity, self-discipline, love, and compassion towards others. The values we learn from our role models give us a part of our identity, which is why a father’s participation in this area is so important.
What makes a good father?
Now that we clearly see the importance of having a solid father figure in our lives, what are the qualities of a ‘good dad’? Of course, no parent is perfect, let alone dads. However, there are some exemplary characteristics that fathers and soon-to-be fathers can have to grow healthy, responsible, and loving children.
A good father will make his child feel secure.
There are different kinds of security–those that involve tangible things (providing for food, education, and housing) and those relating to an inner sense of self. Providing for both tangible and intangible security helps a child develop self-confidence and helps them reach their maximum potential.
A good father is intentional towards his children.
What does being intentional mean? Intentionality as a parent simply means that the time they spend with their children are built upon their desire to make them feel loved. It is not fathers just spending time because of obligation or ‘feeling guilty’, but rather one that is rich, purposeful, and memorable for their children.
A good father disciplines but is affectionate.
The word “discipline” shouldn’t be easily equated to spanking, shouting, or giving unreasonable punishments. A good father knows how to discipline his child by setting boundaries and appropriate consequences for their actions.
Proper discipline should also be paired up with affection. When children know the reason why they are being corrected yet assured of their father’s love, the more they will be motivated to follow and carry these values for life.
Fathers are pillars
Indeed, fathers are essential pillars in our society. Father’s Day is an annual opportunity to let fathers know their true worth, and encourage them to step up and help shape their children’s growth–which makes a lasting effect on the generations to come.
com – “6 Signs You Might Have Daddy Issues”
gov – “Absent Fathers”
com – “What Are The Effects On Children Of Single Parents?”
gov – “The Effect of Father Absence and Father Alternatives on Female and Male Rates of Violence”
com – “Why Your Kids Need Intentional Parents”
Patrick Bailey is a professional writer, writing mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He stays on top of the latest news from the addiction and the mental health world and enjoys writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. You can reach him through his website http://patrickbaileys.com
Thank you for reading this guest blog on Father’s Day. Many of today’s problems would decrease if we had more fathers fulfilling their calling to raise mentally and emotionally healthy children. Did you get this from a friend? Sign up for free future blogs at HowWiseThen. You might also enjoy an earlier Father’s Day
blog or this one about our need to address mental health issues.