Remember when you were little and your father seemed so big and powerful? Dad seemed to have all the answers, could fix anything, worked so hard yet was always full of fun. He seemed always ready to teach great things; to ride a bike, play ball, fish, ski, build, teach some basic car maintenance skills ~ how to change a tire and the oil, and sometimes dad would teach about the work he did.
Children commonly believe that it is dad’s best part of the day, as it is for them, when they greet him at the door after a long days work. All these views are due in part, to the perspective of our little selves and partially due to the image we hold of our dads. Children look up to their dads, often viewing them as heros.
Fathers have an incredible influence on their children. As a counselor and parent educator, I have witnessed and been educated on the importance of father involvement. A fathers’ physical, emotional and spiritual engagement has a direct impact on a child’s development and the events they encounter throughout their lives. It used to be believed that a father’s primary role was to be the “bread winner” in the family, while mom raised the children. The role is different today. A greater challenge presents itself to fathers. They have to find a way to transition from work to family, ready to be available, because they understand their involvement does in fact help their children ~ manage stress better, build their confidence levels, improve academic skills and enhance overall development. “When daughters have a close and warm relationship with their dad their sense of competence-especially in math skills, and a secure sense of femininity is fostered” (www.montana.edu).
Great fathers are involved ~ changing diapers, cooking meals, cleaning house, volunteering, playing, teaching, nurturing and showing their love to their children. Having some contact with every aspect of their child’s life. The joys of being present are endless. Fathers have reported some of the things they enjoy most: developing a trust and respect that is enduring; having time to visit with your children ~ learning who they are and who their friends are; watching children grasp the things you teach them, and remembering how it felt when you accomplished the same task as a child; listening to their laughter; experiencing some peace and calm as you play a game with your child; remembering what is truly important in life; and watching your children succeed!
A father’s role is important and unforgettable! Thank you to all the amazing fathers ~ to your wisdom, hard work, dedication and for the love of your children!