The Role of a Father


 

The Role of a Father

>> bio dynamic psychotherapy


 


During the second half of the nineteenth century, often referred to as the Victorian Era, the father was a very distant and rarely seen figure as far as children were concerned and his responsibility was largely confined to being the family's "law giver". This changed during the early part of the twentieth century, due in no small part to the influence of Freud, and by the middle of the century fathers were seen much more as being the family's "wise breadwinner".

As we moved into the 1960s and 1970s however fathers were once more given a back seat role and many people viewed them as nothing more than 'sperm donors'.

Many, many homes have no dad (or no mom) and the kids turn out just fine, but it is my strong belief that kids NEED a dad (talking positive male role model... not just any scummy dude with some sperm).


 


Fathers play an important role in a child's development from birth through adulthood. A father's role is crucial to a child's growth and has profound bearing on the social, emotional, and intellectual development of a child.

Father figures are important for both girls and boys. Fathers and father figures provide role models for boys, but they also provide an example for girls of how a man acts toward other men, women, and children. They help girls form opinions of how men should treat women. A positive male role model will help girls grow up with the self-esteem they will need when they start dating.

Children are strongly influenced by everything that they see and hear and they see and hear a great deal more than we often realize. Observing the roles of mom and dad working together, children learn a great deal from the way in which matters are discussed and decisions made.

       


It is my observation that mothers need the father's emotional support during the pregnancy. I believe that the role of fathers begins just after conception because mothers are more apt to take care of themselves, if the father is there to support and reinforce the disciplines necessary to protect the well-being of the baby during the pregnancy. The father is more emotionally involved in the child's life, if they are present during this stage and more prepared to stay involved after the child is born, whether it was a planned or unplanned pregnancy.


      


Children need more than ever the presence and guidance of fathers in family life. The presence of a father has a positive impact in many ways. Both parents count - fathers and mothers. Fathering is a role that men gradually grow into. The transition to fatherhood is a monumental turning point in a man's life. If men are willing to undertake this relationship with their children, it is among the greatest changes in a man's life and development as a person. When couples have a strong relationship they can use their differences to complement each other, and draw on each others strengths, and there is a much greater likelihood that both mother and father will be good parents.


        


A father's love for his children is often expressed in the sacrifices they make, whether in times of crisis or just in the everyday choices of family life. Obviously some fathers fail to take responsibility for their children.

One way to do so is to demonstrate the way, in which a father is present in a child's life, helping out in physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. The sharing of time, activities, conversation and self, means a constant support that children perceive as being enduring in their lives.

Fathers whose parenting style is authoritative -  combining control with warmth and regard -  are more likely to have children who feel secure and demonstrate good mental health.


        


Another influential factor is the emotional availability of fathers. Being engaged in a child's life, and responsive to emotional needs, is important in the healthy development of children and adolescents.

Good fathering is hard work, but the most important kind of work men can do. The consistent and frequent presence of a father makes a powerful difference in the development and socialization of a child.

When a father is involved with his son or daughter, he send a clear message to his child: I want to be your father. I am interested in you. I enjoy being with you. You and I have a relationship that is important to me.


         

A father's role in a child's life is indispensable and utterly important in helping to determine the healthy development of a child. Every child born into this world possesses a set of genes that were specially combined through a reproductive process. Half of a child's genes come from her mother and half from her father. It only makes sense that the presence of both a father and a mother are crucially important in helping to determine the well-being of their child. Notwithstanding the permutations of modern families, a child ideally needs both a father and a mother.

Families who had both parents involved in the raising of children (whether married or not) had significant findings that the mothers in these relationships were more confident and better equipped to discipline and raise their children without problem.


        


The importance of a father in a child’s life is measured by unspeakable means. And even more obvious is the fact that having a father (which everyone does) is not the answer. It is having a father that is actively involved, nurturing, loving, and mentally equipped to meet the psychological needs of their child. When a dad is present, involved and seems to bypass gender lines he can help raise children who become better mothers, fathers, and spouses themselves.

While parents can teach all sorts of lessons and tell children what kind of adults and relationships, they should look for in life, showing them is twenty times more effective. When children see a father acting out of superficial character – playing with dolls, seeing mom as an equal partner, raising both a daughter and son to be respectful, independent and thriving adults – they become free to move about in this world as an individual who is not strapped down by gender lines and inequality.


         


Fathers are role models. They also teach little boys how to be real men and little girls what to look for in a man. Freud’s theories that girls seek out partners in life who resemble their own dads are not far from the truth. The reason is simple, what a child sees at home is what they become accustomed to, what they surmise is normal and what they will strive to achieve throughout their lives. This normalcy can be negative or positive and is normally hindered by the presence of supportive and engaging parents first and foremost.

 

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