THE world is evolving, and recent events have proven that things can change at the drop of a hat. Bringing up children nowadays is a whole new ball game. If you are a father, do you have the necessary attributes? Are you patient and loving with your children? Do you give them the attention they deserve? Do you provide reasonable but firm guidance, without imposing your will on them? Do you discipline them calmly and fairly, and do you put them first?
Fathers play an essential role in the psychological development of their children. How would you like your child to remember you: In a negative or positive light? The choice is yours, but don’t fool yourself that children do not think about their fathers, because they do. Even absent fathers, or fathers who children have never met, lie somewhere in their psyche; they wonder if they are like their fathers, and sometimes wish to meet them or see them to make comparisons.
When fathers are involved with their children, it sends a loud resounding message. “I’M GLAD TO BE YOUR FATHER; I AM INTERESTED IN YOU; I WILL LOVE AND PROTECT YOU; YOU CAN COUNT ON ME IN YOUR TIME OF NEED.” Children need this type of reassurance if they are to become confident, competent, well-rounded adults. Whether fathers are attentive or not, growing up cannot be halted; it will happen anyway. But loving parents instill warmth and security, quality time and interest, encouragement and praise in their children’s lives. Growing up can be challenging, but having loving parents makes it easier.
A father should show respect to his children’s mother through his words and deeds. Children learn from adult interactions; their minds are at peace when a mother and father live in harmony. It is discomforting to a child when parents do not get along. Children have love and respect for their parents, and that is how it should be, whether the parents live together or not. Children shouldn’t have to choose between them.
Being a father means putting the needs of your children before your own. Caring enough to maintain a good relationship with your children might mean substituting a night out with buddies for an evening of quality time with the children. Children do not need fancy toys, or the latest Internet games, or name-brand clothes as much as they need the love and caring of a reliable, dependable father. Gifts and treats cannot compensate or compare with the positive influence a father can have in the life of his children.
Fathers have the responsibility to ensure their children reach their best potential, while using their positive influence to guide them correctly. Children need their father’s attention, his time and his affection to build their competence and self-esteem. Fathers can create wholesome memories for their children by being versatile enough to play with them, yet firm enough to guide and discipline them, by setting reasonable boundaries, and reprimanding or praising behaviour as necessary.
How a father spends his time reveals what is essential to him, and children are making a mental note of the things their fathers do. Fathers can use everyday opportunities to help children learn life’s fundamental lessons; never failing to either demonstrate or highlight acts of honesty, humility and responsibility to his children.
Children need family structure, and a father figure who they can trust: A father who sits and eats with them as a family and shows an interest in their interests; a father who takes them out, even if it is just for a walk. Doing things together helps to keep families bonded, and creates positive childhood memories.
Fathers need to prepare their children for the future; to help children realise their priorities in life, and to teach them that there are consequences to their actions.
The understanding and energy between a father and his children should flow naturally; they should not be afraid to approach him. When they do, they should know he will listen to their ideas or problems (and not lecture); he will analyse the facts before interacting from a place of respect and love.
Modern fathers face varied challenges; they cannot rely on their own childhood experiences to parent their children. They must create a balanced and healthy household of their own, where the occupants can think, breathe and live with relative peace of mind.
In a world dominated by the Internet, television and Online activity, a father should instill a love for reading in his children; he should read to them when they are young, and encourage them to read to him as they grow; creating a lifetime of literacy, including personal and career growth.
Girls who spend time with loving fathers understand the need to be respected by boys, and learn what to look for in a partner.
Boys who spend time with their loving fathers use them as reliable role models; they tend to emulate or surpass them in their occupational endeavours.
A father’s role begins at conception, and he can bond with his child during pregnancy, and, just like a mother’s role, his role never ends.
If you are concerned about the welfare of a child, call the CPA hotline on 227 0979, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHILDCARE AND PROTECTION AGENCY,
MINISTRY OF HUMAN SERVICES AND SOCIAL SECURITY