Loving care: Modern-day dads want to be involved in every aspect of a child’s life.
Loving care: Modern-day dads want to be involved in every aspect of a child’s life.

You go to any public event today and you are sure to see plenty of fathers out enjoying some quality time with their children.

You will see dads pushing strollers, changing diapers, feeding toddlers, chasing toddlers, and even hanging with their teenage daughters.

Gone are the days when fathers had a very one-dimensional role of going out to work and returning with the bread.

Today’s dads want to do much more than provide food, shelter and other basic necessities for their families.

They want to be involved in all aspects of their children’s lives.

They want to be the best dad that they can be. Although being able to provide for their family is still a big responsibility for most fathers, they are no longer defined by this role.

They are working fathers, with the emphasis on ‘father’.

This means fathers still work, but have chosen to place a priority on fathering, not simply providing.

So, what else do fathers do? What is their impact on children’s lives?

Nurture

Today’s fathers are not only responsive to their children’s physical needs – food, shelter, and other basic needs — but also foster their psychological development as well.

They comfort and praise appropriately, communicate frequently and respond to negative situations calmly.

They also expose their children to appropriate stimuli and environments, which fosters their mental development.

Discipline 

Involved and effective fathers know the importance of providing their kids with guidance.

They do not abuse them – verbally, physically, emotionally, or otherwise.

They use methods that protect their children’s feelings and confidence, and promote problem-solving and moral living.

Also, they do this primarily at home. The result? Their kids behave well at school, church, in the playground and in other social settings.

A guide to the outside world 

Fathers are very good at encouraging autonomy in their children.

They encourage chores, good mannerisms and the proper handling of frustrations.

They do this by requiring that their children help out with the chores, dress themselves, and shake hands with people they meet. Fathers also display and talk to their children about peer pressure and acceptable behaviour.

They talk to their older kids about the world of work, and often include them in their work.

Security

Another major responsibility of fathers is establishing and maintaining a safe environment for their children.

Good fathers make sure their kids are safe emotionally, physically, socially, and financially.

Maintain a positive relationship with the childrens’ mother

Kids do better when both parents are involved and working together, which is why they take it so hard during, and after, separation or divorce.

Involved fathers recognize this and do what is necessary to maintain a positive relationship with their children’s mother.

They know this is one of the best things they could do for their kids.

They realize it’s about the kids.

Spend quality time with their children

Fathers know that to build and maintain positive relationships with their children means that they have to be present and engaged.

You get to know your kids by spending time with them.

They know this very well, and experience the benefits of becoming more aware of their children’s needs for love, attention, direction, and discipline.

The key here is quality, not quantity, although the latter also helps.

But they want to connect with their children, not accumulate hours.

After all, fatherhood is not a job. It’s a special and sacred calling.

Involved fathers know that their kids will recall the experience they had, not the amount of time spent together.

Children, even society, need fathers to be more than just providers, and they are.

Fathers are also great caregivers, teachers, and protectors.

They are also doing an exceptional job juggling all these roles and responsibilities.

So, the next time you see a father out with his kids, acknowledge him as someone who is also positively impacting a child’s life.  

 

Pete Saunders runs the website www.razorsanddiapers.com which is dedicated to helping Bermuda’s fathers with their children. It offers information on fatherhood issues, resources and parenting products.