Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Importance of Dads

As I watch more teenage girls wander into our churches with little babies conceived by boyfriends long-gone, I feel for them and the hard path ahead to raise these children alone.  But I feel even more for these children, born into homes with no father there who is committed to loving and raising them, no foundation of a married set of parents who will not only teach them, but show them by example how beautiful a whole family can be.

A father's presence in a home makes a world of difference in the shaping of a child's self-image, for both boys and girls.  For anyone who says that it's just fine to raise a child alone, as long as it is loved and cared for, doesn't understand that part of the love and care a child needs, is to have both a mom and dad present, active, loving, correcting and faithful to each other.  A child without a good marriage to undergird him, is  automatically born with so many obstacles to overcome as a result.

Read this portion of an article (The Involved Father) from one of the Focus on the Family's parenting experts, Glenn T. Stanton:

Fathers parent differently.
Fathering expert Dr. Kyle Pruett explains that fathers have a distinct style of communication and interaction with children. By eight weeks of age, infants can tell the difference between their mother’s and father’s interaction with them.

This diversity, in itself, provides children with a broader, richer experience of contrasting relational interactions. Whether they realize it or not, children are learning, by sheer experience, that men and women are different and have different ways of dealing with life, other adults and children. This understanding is critical for their development.

Fathers play differently.
Fathers tickle more, they wrestle, and they throw their children in the air (while mother says . . . "Not so high!"). Fathers chase their children, sometimes as playful, scary "monsters."

Fathering expert John Snarey explains that children who roughhouse with their fathers learn that biting, kicking and other forms of physical violence are not acceptable.3 They learn self-control by being told when "enough is enough" and when to settle down. Girls and boys both learn a healthy balance between timidity and aggression.

Fathers build confidence.
Go to any playground and listen to the parents. Who is encouraging kids to swing or climb just a little higher, ride their bike just a little faster, throw just a little harder? Who is encouraging kids to be careful? Mothers protect and dads encourage kids to push the limits.

Either of these parenting styles by themselves can be unhealthy. One can tend toward encouraging risk without consideration of consequences. The other tends to avoid risk, which can fail to build independence and confidence. Together, they help children remain safe while expanding their experiences and increasing their confidence.

Fathers communicate differently.
A major study showed that when speaking to children, mothers and fathers are different. Mothers will simplify their words and speak on the child's level. Men are not as inclined to modify their language for the child. The mother's way facilitates immediate communication; the father's way challenges the child to expand her vocabulary and linguistic skills — an important building block of academic success.

Fathers discipline differently.
Educational psychologist Carol Gilligan tells us that fathers stress justice, fairness and duty (based on rules), while mothers stress sympathy, care and help (based on relationships). Fathers tend to observe and enforce rules systematically and sternly, teaching children the consequences of right and wrong. Mothers tend toward grace and sympathy, providing a sense of hopefulness. Again, either of these disciplinary approaches by themselves is not good, but together, they create a healthy, proper balance.

Fathers prepare children for the real world.
Involved dads help children see that attitudes and behaviors have consequences. For instance, fathers are more likely than mothers to tell their children that if they are not nice to others, kids will not want to play with them. Or, if they don't do well in school, they will not get into a good college or secure a desirable job. Fathers help children prepare for the reality and harshness of the world.

Fathers provide a look at the world of men.
Men and women are different. They eat differently. They dress differently. They cope with life differently. Girls and boys who grow up with a father are more familiar and secure with the curious world of men.

Girls with involved, married fathers are more likely to have healthier relationships with the opposite sex because they learn from their fathers how proper men act toward women. They know which behaviors are inappropriate.

They also have a healthy familiarity with the world of men — they don't wonder how a man's facial stubble feels or what it's like to be hugged by strong arms. This knowledge builds emotional security and safety from the exploitation of predatory males.

Boys who grow up with dads are less likely to be violent. They have their masculinity affirmed and learn from their fathers how to channel their masculinity and strength in positive ways. Fathers help sons understand proper male sexuality, hygiene and behavior in age-appropriate ways. As noted sociologist David Popenoe explains, "Fathers are far more than just 'second adults' in the home. Involved fathers — especially biological fathers — bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring."


Anonymous said...

Wolfie looks like he wants to get out of there.

Leeanne said...

Wow, very interesting!

Its true though, I am definitely aiming for this goal with my husband for my daughter,
Thank you for posting Mrs.Eve!

Aurore Desvarieux said...

If I had my father at home, when I was a kid, I think I would never do things I did during my adolescence... I didn't have any exemple of what was a real man and how a man should treat me when I will grow up. So I did a lot of mistakes, but thank God, I met Jesus who shown me the way and became my real father. Today, I know how important it is to have, as a father, a real man who really leads his family whith wisdom and firmness.

kids zone said...


Laura Perez said...

I agree that fathers play a huge role in raising children correctly.if there isnt a father in the picture the child will miss out on alot of things that a kid with a father will not. Thanks Mrs.E i learned alot from this post.

kristal Tellez said...

I really lilke this post because it is true how the kids are able to see or figure out when they are wrong like when they are being to rough and how the mom shows love and dad shows hardness and toughness. Thank you

Mariel G said...

nice post, its true how the fathers play a big part in a childs life when i was smaller i would always want to go and be with my friends and play, & my mother being the sweet one would always say ok..but my father would set down the really happy i have a man figure in my house because now i see how important it is, especially now that i have my little boy:) thank you so much mrs.evelyn

Divya said...

That is true Mrs. Evelyn, both parents are so important to a child's life. Media portrays the father figure figure as unnecessary, encouraging people to believe that it is healthy for a child to grow up without a father or a mother.
Dads do make a difference, and should not have their role diminished by shows and society depicting them as being backward, unintelligent, and as someone who deserves no appreciation.

It would be lovely if somehow children were encouraged to respect and appreciate their dads ;0)

Sabrina Durant (Finsbury Park) said...

This was a very important thing i learned today. How important it is to have both parents involved especially when they are both different in many ways and teach differently. I grew up without my real father and my stepfather had abused me when I was a child so I grew up not really understanding the role of a father. I believe that's why i had a lot of relationships where i became clingy because I never wanted to lose that person as I had not had my real father involved in my life. I thank God I know now and as a single mother with a son, I sometimes find it very difficult because I am not a father but a mother. Now I have to just keep on going forward with My heavenly Father as a great and the best example of all.

Xochitl moctezuma said...

I agree,a father is not just a dad is more than that is were he helps you in homework, plays with you, we look up to them. they take care of us,there example to follow. THANK FOR SHARING THIS POST

rose- philippines said...

Very interesting blog..
thank you for this Mrs. Evelyn..

While I'm reading this blog I remember my Father, even though I am a girl I used to go with my father. I want my father to fetch me up in school, when there is a recognition day in our school I want my father will be the one to be there. Inshort I am a "papa's girl". Not because I loved more my father more than my mother. Both of them are the same. I loved and cared for them.
but there is just something that my father can do and my mother can't.
Its really true that father played a very important role in the family. Not only to work to have some money to be used in the house. Father does what mother can't.
They are both important ..

-thank you so much ..

-rose ofanda
manila, Philippines

Sandra Campos said...

Yes Evelyn i agree on what you were saying that their girls that have baby and the father of the baby is not there because one of my friend has a baby but the baby father is not in their life anymore

Sandra Campos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vuyo said...

This is true, children really need both of their parents. I remember growing up how i wish my father was part of my life. Every time i see other with both they parents i used to wish my father can surprise me or just come and visit me. It is a very painful thing any child can face, thinking you've done something wrong maybe thats why he does not want to see you.

Anonymous said...

yes very interesting
its very important that you have a complete family you have your mother,FATHER,and if can a sister or brothers.. in my family actually im not so close to my father because sometimes i fell so scared to him because he is so very strick to us.

but i love so much my Father because he always there for me..

Marsha said...

Very true Ms Evelyn, without both parents its hard for a child to grow with security and trust, especially in these days. They need a mother and a father figure to balance
issues that they might face.

amatesd said...

This was the most interesting blog I have read. It's very true and I am glad that I grew up with both of my parents. Thank you Mrs. Eve.

shnitzel said...

wow! This is very intersting. my mom always told me to be thankful that i have a father who has always been there, and i have always tried to be. However, this makes it even easier because i know how much better my has been and will be just because i have a REAL man in my life, the only man i've had since childhood, my father. I love you, Dad!

manako said...

My Father past away in 2003, when he died I was torn into pierces in such a way that my school results for that year dropped.
I was never raised by my both parents as they divorced while I was young. So I would stay with my Mom and change again to stay with my father. It was quite difficult for me.
I really learnt a lot from my Dad in those years that he raised me. He thought me love, unity and respect. These are the principles that I will never forget in life.
He was not a super Dad as he had his mistakes, but he played an important role in my life.
That is why even today I still miss him and even cry sometimes that he is no longer around.

In every child's life a Dad is important. No woman has a right to deprive their children of their father.

Thanks a lot for the Massage.
May God Bless you more

Noelia- NJ said...

As I read this blog, I could only think of how my husband is with his kids. And all this is so true. That balance needed at home is defenitely shared by both parents. I am glad I had my dad growing up, I learned so much from him and thru him. Just seeing his daily behavior towards my mom, and other members of the family and at work, etc. What a blessing a united family truly is.

Beatlesxchic said...

This was a great message. I love my father, and I don't think I would have made it through all of my tough times without his never ending support and love.

The Omen in Chads Mirror said...
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blanca7one said...

The title of this blog cought my attention and I started reading. As I was reading it made me see thing in a different perspective and to appreciate having a father.How important is to have both of our parents in our lifes to help us shape up to get ready to for the journey ahead of us.