Are we all guilty of forgetting the fathers? there are several pieces of research on the role a mother plays. However, Fathers have a substantial impact on child development, well-being, and family. Yet when we talk about parenting, not just in Nigeria but around the globe, it rarely targets fathers or makes a dedicated effort to include them.
Some Interesting Facts on the roles of Fathers
- According to the Father Institute in London, The ‘magnitude’ of fathers’ influences are equal to and sometimes larger than those of mothers.
- Substantial involvement by fathers from the month following birth is connected with better language development and higher IQ in the child.
- On parenting style, a father’s authoritarian parenting style (rigid and bossy) had a more negative impact on his children than the mothers’authoritarian parenting style.
- To build more connection between fathers and their children, fathers are encouraged to take charge of their infants on their own. Fathers who regularly spend time in ‘sole charge’ of their babies develop confidence and skills. Which leads them to interact with their children in a much wider range of ways than other fathers.
These are just some well-documented findings, yet despite robust evidence of fathers’ impact on children, engaging with fathers is one of the least well-explored and articulated aspects of parenting interventions,” says Catherine Panter-Brick, professor of anthropology, health, and global affairs at Yale and lead author of the study.
Effects of the Subconscious Mind and Culture on Fathers
Many children grew up without the right level of positive interaction with fathers of their own. This adds to the epidemic of forgetting the fathers. Mothers feel the need to do it all because they do not have a model where their fathers were very involved. Likewise, a new father repeats his distant relationship with his own children.
Fathers are wrongly relegated to just providing financially for the children and family. In addition, their discipline style might be overly harsh punishment to make their children tough while others are simply aloof and distant.
Silent and absent fathers leave their sons and children with no idea for what a loving relationship with a father should look like.
According to the National Society for Fathering, the average age that sons most dislike their fathers is 17. This is both normal and healthy. Unfortunately, most fathers don’t recognize the importance of this period and how to harness it positively. Some fathers have no clue to navigate day to day interactions with growing, changing children. Too often, love is the last feeling fathers and sons let themselves feel for each other or express.
How Fathers Can Be More Involved Parents
Comments and wrong beliefs like “men don’t cry” create a wall between a father and his children. With this belief, some fathers tend to be too harsh especially on their sons. A man who is in tune with his emotions will better know how to react to life. A father who does not know how to manage stress might tend to lash out. It can be helpful for a father to recognize his hot buttons and the source of his hot buttons so he can better manage his responses.
Feed himself–physically and emotionally.
This means doing the things that help him to be the best version of himself. When a father is in a good place it is easier for him to be an intentional parent and the father his children need. Some homes are like a single parent home., where the mother is a single parent because the father is not actively involved. Usually, this comes from a father who has not come to understand the importance of his role in his child’s life.
Father Should Practise Positive Discipline
Father should not be overly harsh with discipline where it crosses over into being punitive.
It is more important for a father to spend time talking to and communicating with his children. Do not just punish to seem tough or to “toughen up a child”. The way a father disciplines his children is very important so that they learn the right lesson. Children are not dogs to be barked at.
Rather fathers should discuss with their children, spend time sharing values with them, be intentional in training them in the way they should go. In the book Breaking the Jewish code, it talks about the importance Jewish fathers place on spending time with their children, teaching them the Torah. This is a big part of their culture.
Lead by example more than by words
Our children have always done what we do more than what we say. For fathers, this is even more important. Your child is watching you. How you treat their mother and how you interact with others. Do you communicate or shout all the time?
Understand that as children grow, they are having their own identity and need to be encouraged to learn how to think and not what to think. A father who spends quality time with his children when they are young will have a healthy relationship with them when they grow up. Children do not want your money, they want your love and they spell LOVE as T.I.M.E.
As father’s day rolls around, spend more quality time with your children. Realise that you have as important a role to play in your child’s life. Most children when asked, say that their father does not have time for them. Change this and make them feel important. Make conscious time to spend quality time with your children.
Do the things that are important to your children, play with them, talk to them, do fun things together, build a relationship and communicate often. Every interaction with your child should not only be to lecture them or discipline them.
Fathers want to feel loved and accepted by their families as well, they are more than an ATM machine. Everyone in the family has a role to play and where love and acceptance abound the family thrives.