Father's Day

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Recognize the Role of Fathers

It is vital for fathers to play an active role in parenting. Today's young fathers are more likely to take on quite a lot of the responsibility with their children than our fathers were in the past. But, we still see dads who believe that the job of raising children belongs to the moms.

A dad is important in so many ways besides being a wage earner. Fathers have a very positive role in seeing his kids grow up straight and strong. Fathers can be wonderful examples of what today's male should be for their sons. He needs to be a combination of strength and sensitivity. For daughters, his role as an example of the ideal mate to look for should be the best one to follow. For all the children, his strength of character should shine through.

The father should start being involved right from the beginning. When the couple brings the baby home from the hospital, Dad should help with the care- diapering, feeding, bathing, and supporting mom while helping with the other kids. This actually builds the relationship with that child and prepares you for being influential and important in that child's life when he is a teen.

During the years while the child is growing up, dad must be willing to spend a lot of time with them, playing, talking, listening, and teaching them. If this happens while they are young, by the time they are teens, dad will have become a best friend along with a respected parent. His word can be counted on and the child will respect him.

Laying the groundwork for the father's role in parenting should happen when they are small children, but it is never too late. The difficulty of establishing the role of the father figure when they are teens is well documented, but still not impossible.

To pick up the role again, after a time, takes much patience. You must start slowly. Try to get your son or daughter to join you in fun activities. Spend more time listening to what they are interested in and then try to find ways to take part in their lives in relation to those interests. Take the time to ask their opinions of stuff always assuming they really do have one and may even have more expertise than you do in some things. Treat them with respect, show your love, and constantly try to communicate with them. Do not be a buddy. You can be a friend, but first be a parent.

For all you fathers doing such a good job, we congratulate you. For those with a long path ahead of you, we encourage you.

Credits: Jo Ann Wentzel

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