Father’s day is right around the corner and don’t be surprised if I write several articles about the importance of this day. We often breeze over it too quickly and never celebrate it to the extent of Mother’s day. I had a great dad; he raised five daughters and four sons (although one of my baby brothers die, my father always counted him anyway). I guess putting him in the ground qualified my dad as being responsible to the end.
My dad wasn’t just playing a part of being the man of the family; he was the back bone of our family. He was able to be playful even in the midst of terrible financial strife and the chaos that comes from having nine kids in a house with only 1,700 square feet. He was remarkable and he had a way with me for sure. He was able to make me feel special—like I stood out even though I was number six of nine. I don’t remember a time when I told him my dreams that he didn’t encourage them (with some teasing…some of my dreams were crazy). He was not educated, but his ability to listen overcame his inability to teach me algebra or literary geniuses.
When I hear patients tell me they don’t have a dad, didn’t know their dad, or their dad divorced their mom it breaks my heart. Although these patients tell me this as a matter of fact, they will lack the character that an engaged, present dad gives a daughter (or son). What are the gifts a dad gives their children better then anyone else?
- A dad gives their child security. Dads are bigger then moms physically in a child’s eyes. They need their dad to feel protected. Children that grow up without a dad always feel like they have to take care of everything on their own. This causes anxiety and a sense of loss as they grow older.
- Dads play with their kids. Dads usually engage in physical interaction and they achieve this by playing rough or running around with their children. This tells children, “you are fun and I like playing with you”. Kids feel valued.
- Dads instill a sense of confidence in their child. Dads who notice their child’s interests and comment on how interesting their child is create a sense of worth. This allows the child to become confident of themselves and their interests.
- Dads usually discipline and help structure their child’s life. They make a list of chores and work with the child at accomplishing these tasks. Kids emulate this because they like feeling they are contributing to the family. Moms usually make a chore list also, but surveys show kids are more aware of dads enforcing it. Moms are usually more relaxed with finishing the goals whereas dads have a deadline.
- Dads love their child’s mother. They teach boys how to respect and love women by example. They teach their daughters what a respectable, sensitive man looks like. Both kids are getting mentored for what kind of man they will become or marry. Real dads don’t leave their children. In the event of a divorce, real dads stay connected to the child. They pay their child support and they don’t judge how it is spent. Real dads see their child as their responsibility to love and raise—there is nothing that can keep them from their child. Real dads step up to the plate and realize that in the life of their child, a father is irreplaceable.
Happy Father’s Day to all you real dads!! For more advice go to: http://maryjorapini.com
Author: Maryjo Rapini