Happy Fathers Day
How should we define fatherhood? We live in a world where some fathers are not around emotionally or physically. We have families where children have two mother’s. Do those type of families lack something? I guess it depends on your convictions and how you define family. For me, I am progressive in my thinking and believe relationships based upon love and encouragement are more important than the gender of the parents. The male child of a singl mom can still develop into being a successful adult. I don’t want to diminish the male figure but want to recognize there are many ways to have a healthy family.
I want to talk about the traditional family unit, when a father and mother and children. I want to define what I believe makes a father and child experience healthy. Let me first say, that if you have a poor father image you need to seek healthy relationships to develop your character. DONT PUT IT OFF. There are organizations to help you learn what it means to be a “man”. Also, this is my interpretation of manhood.
Fatherhood, like motherhood, take courage, the courage to set aside our own agenda and spend time with our children. Courage to to continue to evolve into a better person. Courage sets apart those men who are healthy fathers from those who are mediocre fathers. What does courage look like? As a father I am continually presented with opportunities to stop bad habits in the ways I interact with my children. Courage says, “I am going to share my thoughts and feelings with my children so they know I am not perfect.”
Another characteristic of good fathering is encouragement. We live in a negative world. We hear horrible stories of death and destruction in books, TV, and movies. Sometimes the bad seem to outweigh the positive stories. But encouragement is deeper than positive talk. Webster’s defines encouragement as, “the act of making something more appealing or more likely to happen”. I believe a father can’t encourage unless he sets aside his own agenda or thinking to focus on his son or daughter. Encouragement is telling your child(ren) that they need to pursue their passion even even if those interests are not what you would have chosen for them. Even if your child is thinking of going into a career field that sounds crazy, or changes her religious or political convictions, you will still be there to encourage and support her.
I saved the most important fatherly trait for last. Can you guess what it is? Well if you guessed comfort you are right. If not, listen up. Affection is very important. Children want to be held and hugged. They want to know that affection will always be there. You drop everything and offer your arms, hands, ears, and sometimes tears to be sympathetic. Your job, as a father, is for your children to be able to say when you die, “He loved and bonded with me.”
I am a proud father, but more importantly I want to continue to grow as a father. It’s a never-ending process.