Father’s day is around the corner and some families prepare to honor the patriarchal figure of the family unit. The belief for several decades was a picture of a distant and busy father figure. The father may occasionally take an interest in the child’s life, but is usually at work or gone.
In reality, the father plays a much more important role in a child’s life; especially in the son’s life. Studies have proven the presence of a father drastically affects the growth of the child. Comprised is a list with some of the most valuable things a child can learn from a father.
If it’s broken, fix it
In some ways, the rite of passage from father to son can be found on a tool belt. Learning how certain tools work and how to fix a broken appliance are important for growing up. Even more so, applying this to projects in school and relationships can lead to a more positive and fulfilling life. Relationships may require maintenance from time to time and staying involved is the best way to deal with them.
Hard work will pay off, just not in the way you think
From adolescent sports teams to finishing a painting, giving up is never the answer. No matter how cheesy or bad it may appear, hard work will bring profit. Children all have perceived limits and need encouragement to press on when doubt nestles in their hearts. A father can instill confidence in his children by being involved and helping them practice. There is a road to success, not an elevator to take one to the top.
Education is important
It may involve memorizing flash cards, rehearsing a presentation or studying for a test, but children need motivation along the way. Education is important since children begin to learn from the infant stages and continue into adulthood. Parental involvement in children’s education can help encourage and motivate the children to be persistent.
Be present in the life around you
A study shows, now more than ever, fathers are being more present in their children’s lives. Spending time with friends and family strengthens bonds and helps to increase camaraderie. Avoid staring at a screen all day and enjoy the world with loved ones. Living with the child also should increase the amount of time a father will spend with his children. If circumstances don’t permit, be the best father weekend-warrior or most active pen pal, any family, has ever seen.
Show the ones you care about you love them
Spending time with loved ones and showing appreciation can go a long way. The simple phrase, I love you, can have the deepest of meanings. Showing compassion through simple gifts, a phone call or even listening to what they have to say can mean the world to a child. Take time out of the day to listen to what the child has to say.
The relationship of the father to child can have existential impacts on the child, well into adulthood. One midwest community decided to do their own research, conducted a study on hundreds of women, spanning several generations, and reported back to the interviewees: many, “faced hardship as a result of the choices your fathers have made.” Writer, Erin Davis elaborates to the women that the more they spoke about their fathers, “the more we realized that many of you struggle to relate to God as a Father because of your experiences with your earthly dads.” It is important to build a bond of love and trust, giving the child a firm foundation to stand on. Psychologically, the perceived involvement and response of a Higher Power in one’s personal life could be subconsciously linked to earthly relations, or lack thereof with dad and male attribution of deity.
Being responsible can mean learning the value of money, taking care of a pet, taking responsibility for one’s actions and more. The culture of responsibility passing from father to son has been a constant in society for decades. Marie Hartwell-Walker Ed.D., writes, “Most important of all, care means providing a positive role model for what it means to be a man.” This includes more than just learning to be tough or how to fish. Take responsibility for actions and lead by example. For one day two little eyes may be learning from those actions.
Have the patience and steadfastness of a tree; well, maybe not that patient. Nonetheless, be patient with the hectic parts of life. Remember some children, may need more explanation than others. Remember not everything will go according to plan, so roll with the punches. Success will not happen right away. Be patient and remember: life is a journey, not a race.
White River Academy is a therapeutic school for troubled boys ranging from ages 12 to 17 and provides aid for boys struggling with issues at school, and interpersonal problems. Not only providing treatment and care for the boys, the academy also continues a strong education curriculum and instills good character values. For more information or to register, feel free to call 866-520-0905.