Any man can father a child, but it takes a lifetime of hard work to become a Dad. The role that fathers play in every child’s life is indispensable and cannot be fulfilled by anyone else. Fathers have a huge impact on their children and mould them into responsible adults.
Fathers and Emotional Development
Fathers are central to the emotional well-being of their children; they are the pillars of a child’s emotional well-being. Children should be able to look up to their fathers to lay down the rules and enforce them. Fathers also provide a sense of security, both physical and emotional, which promotes inner growth and strength. Studies have shown that affectionate, supportive and involved fathers greatly contribute to a child’s cognitive, academic, social development, instilling in them an overall sense of well-being, self-esteem, authenticity, and self-confidence.
Fathers impact on our social relationships
Fathers not only influence who we are inside but how we form relationships with other people as we grow. The manner in which fathers treat their children, influences what they would look for in other people. Friends, lovers, and spouses will all be chosen based on how the child perceived the meaning of the relationship with his or her father. The model a father sets in the relationships with his children will dictate how his children relate with other people. The child’s primary relationship with their father will go on to affect all of their future relationships until death. Children will derive their intrinsic idea of who they are and also, the range of what is considered to be acceptable and loving, from the nature of the relationship with their father.
Fathers and Their Daughters
Daughters depend on their fathers for security and emotional support. A father should be able to put forth the example of what a good relationship is like to his daughter. If a father is loving, kind and gentle, his daughter will look for those qualities in men when she’s old enough, if he is strong and valiant, she will relate closely to men of the same character.
Fathers and Their Sons
Boys model themselves after their father’s character, unlike girls, who model their relationships with others based on their father’s character. Boys will seek approval from their fathers from a very young age. As children learn by modeling the behaviour of those around them; that’s how they learn to function in the world. In fact, all people learn how to survive and function successfully in the world through social imitation. If a father is caring and treats people with respect, the young boy will grow up much the same. If they are abusive, controlling, and dominating, those will be the patterns the sons will imitate and emulate. When a father is absent, young boys will start to look to other male figures to set the “rules” for how to go about in the world.
Unquestionably, fathers are able to help their children develop a sense of competence, security, and self-control. There are just two extreme positions that fathers should avoid taking: that of detachment meaning leaving all child-rearing issues to the mother; and that of pushiness, over-demandingness, and intrusiveness. Who we are, who we were, and who we are becoming, fathers are the central figures who play a pivotal role in that outcome.
Finally, on this Father’s day, it is important to recognize and reward our dads for being there, and actively imparting crucial life skills to us.
To all of the Dads out there, THANK YOU, DAD. I hope you had a wonderful day!