Fathers Role In Parenting

by Mary Ann on August 31, 2010

My little grandson Jack is two years old. He does everything his father does. Everything! Jack has a small pink doll stroller. Actually, it belongs to his four year old sister Maggie but Jack has confiscated it. He needs it for his work – his “daddy” work. When Doug mows the lawn there is Jack following right behind with his pink stroller “mowing machine.” He pulls the imaginary cord and away he goes following his dad’s every footstep, walking with his dad’s swagger as perfectly as he can match it on his small stubby legs.

The other day Doug was cleaning out the garage. Jack, of course, was right there helping. His father was sweating profusely with heat and exertion. Doug was wiping his brow to clear his eyes. Jack looked for a long time at his dad and his dripping face. Then he walked over to the dog dish, put his face in the water and turned to his dad and said “we’re sweaty” and then wiped his head. As I said, he copies his dad. He loves his dad. He wants and needs to be with his dad.

Being a parent is one of the most influential roles you will ever have. Sometimes fathers have a difficult time being involved with their children after a long day at work, caring for one of their primary stewardships – providing for their family. Because of the dilemma of work and family, too often “parenthood” becomes simply “motherhood.” Professional research has found that a child’s intellectual, emotional, and social development, masculinity and femininity, even the ability to function effectively in a future marriage, appear to be influenced by the father’s personal relationship with the child and with the child’s mother; dad’s need to be involved with their children,because,“Fathers do matter”.

As with all important responsibilities, to be successful with our children requires making them an important priority. One of the most important gifts a father can give is his time. Richard L. Evans on the The Spoken Word said: “In all things there is a priority of importance … and one of our urgent opportunities is to respond to a child when he earnestly asks remembering they don’t always ask, that they aren’t always teachable, that they won’t always listen. And often we have to take them on their terms and at their times. But if we respond to them with sincere attention and sincere concern they will likely continue to come to us and ask. And if they find they can trust us with their trivial questions, they may later trust us with the more weighty ones.” (The Spoken Word, KSL broadcast, 31 Jan. 1970.) In order to respond at the time of need, a parent, a father, has to be present, in body, mind and heart!

When over two thousand children of all ages and backgrounds were asked, “What makes a wonderful father?” the essence of their replies was, “He takes time for me.” If you were to add up the time you actually spend with your children, the total may not be as much as you think. In one study of three-month-old infants, it was found that fathers spent only thirty-eight seconds a day with their young children! How long has it been since you took your children, whatever their size, in your arms and told them that you love them?

Father’s Common time issues explained – Next post

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