Fathers are far more than just second adults in a home. They bring positive benefit for their children than no other person is likely to bring and have a direct effect on the health and well-being of a child. Children deserve families, which create an environment where there is satisfaction of their emotional, social, physical and educational needs. Father to mother relationship has a great impact on the well being of the children.
Men have an irreplaceable and dear role that they play in the healthy development and lives of their children.Dr Wades F.Horn the co-founder and former president of National fatherhood initiative coined the phrase “The myth of superfluous father “By this he meant that too many fathers are convinced that they are simply an additional set of hands to help around the house. Due to this perception, many men are not committed and involved in their children’s lives. Despite diversity of views on fathering, extensive research has suggested seven key dimensions of effective father:
- Fostering a positive relationship with his wife
- Spending time with children
- Nurturing children
- Disciplining children appropriately
- Serving as a guide to the outside world
- Protecting and providing
- Being a positive role model.
FOSTERING A POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CHILDREN’S MOTHER
One of the most way men can be good fathers is by treating their wives with respect and consideration. Children who witness respectful, affectionate and sacrificial behavior of their fathers are more likely to treat their future partners in a similar fashion. Children usually learn from their parents and whatever they learn will shape their future life. The same way genes are passed on from one generation to another so can caring respect and kindness. Moreover, children are more likely to be well adjusted and happy. In contrast, children who witness their fathers’ anger towards their mothers are more likely to suffer from depression and poor health.
Healthy marriage therefore can have a positive effect on the immune system of their children. Fatherhood suggests two implications;
- First fathers need to accentuate positivity to their children when interacting with their wives and show love daily. For many men it comes off naturally while for others it does not.
- Secondly and lastly, they need to be able to handle conflict with their spouse in a constructive manner. Indeed conflict is necessary to resolve grievances or injustices in a relationship. Generally, couples who raise issues in amicable way solve and forgive each other for wrong done have a happier marriage and children. Those who do not handle conflict well have a sad, depressed children and problematic marriage. The secret to a happier marriage is putting God first because He created the institution and Himself is love. A woman and man get into a marriage because of love.
In addition, it is important for a man and a woman to avoid two pitfalls
Stonewalling is either when a partner disintegrates from a relationship when a conflict arises by being emotionally distant or physically leaving the scene. Criticism is the act of noting the faults or problems of a person. women are fonder of criticizing and men usually stonewall their partner. These behaviors can be destructive to a marriage relationship.
SPENDING TIME WITH CHILDREN.
There are three important reasons why a father should spend more time with his children.
- First a father will be able discover his child character, fears, hopes aspiration and ideals when he spends a lot of time with his child.
- Secondly, a father will be better at caring when he spends a lot of time with his child because it makes him more sensitive to the needs of the child for attention, discipline, direction and love.
- Lastly, a child often sees time as an indicator of a parents love for them. Dr.Ken Confield says “Kids spell love TIME “Fathers should spend good time developing their children intellectual growth from reading to their children to meeting with their teacher is more important for children’s academics than if their mother was involved.
The nurturing of a father maybe less openly expressed than mother. Fathers exercise a vital role in providing their children with direction on how to respond to difficult situations. Nurturing plays these roles
- Helps build close relationship between the father and their children.
- Fosters self-worth and psychological well being
- Provides children with a healthy model of masculinity
- Help protect girls from prematurely looking for romantic and sexual attention from men, “The sugar daddy syndrome.”
DISCIPLINING CHILDREN APPROPRIATELY.
This role cannot be underestimated and the way it is understood and implemented can have a significant impact on how family responds
It is advantageous to have two parents in a family because they can share the parenting load. Fathers can make raising children easier by taking a substantial share of child discipline. Especially they have been quite successful in disciplining boys maybe because boys are often more likely to respond to discipline by a man.
SERVING AS A GUIDE TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD.
Fathers need to be preparing their children for the outside world. This is another very important fuction they can play .For preschoolers; fathers can best prepare them by engaging in physical play and encouraging steps in the direction of autonomy. As they begin school. Fathers can share their own experience in school and encourage them to study hard. They should teach them about managing money and a sport that would help their children understand importance of teamwork.
Moreover, fathers need to discuss their personal beliefs, ideals and life experiences into ordinary conversations with their teenagers. They should also talk about dangers of alcohol, peer pressure, drugs, violence and early sexual activities. In addition, fathers should be in the forefront in giving their children little more freedom, as they grow older with occasional word of encouragement along with consequences for abuse of the given freedom.
PROTECTING AND PROVIDING
Ability to provide and protect is very much tied up with the man’s sense of self worth and sense of manhood. Historically fathers are viewed as chief financial providers.They Provide for and protect their children. Fathers play an important role in making sure their children are safe by child proofing a home to make sure other children and adults do not threaten their children. They can also protect them by monitoring their social environment. Research has it that children often benefit when parents know their children’s friends and parents of their friend. The intergenerational closure can be use to keep track of their children activities and whereabouts and collaborate with other parents in ensuring their children behave in good ways that enable them to fit in the social fabric. It is also important for fathers to pay close attention to the type of people their children contact and interact with. Incase they determine that their children’s friend is of bad characters, they need to cut off their children’s contact with them.
BEING A ROLE MODEL
Becoming a role model is not an easy job, while relationship of a father to his child is of great value; fathers also have a strong influence on their children through the life they lead in and outside home. The way fathers spend their time. The way fathers spend their time and money, treat other people and handle stress and joys of life provide a living template for their children, which often guides their behavior for better or worse.
Fathers should abide to the spirit and rules that govern the family life. They should promote the mission of their families. As much as it sounds odd, it is important for a healthy family to have a mission statement. For example, families that believe in raising their children in a strong Christian spiritual background have a smaller part of their mission in raising their children of Christian faith.
Fathers should admit their mistakes to their children and seek for forgiveness. Many men view apology to their children, as a sign of weakness but the opposite is true. It is hardly a sign of weakness but much more a sign of strength of facing up to a mistake, fixing the mistake and committing to moving forward.
In conclusion, fathers love is heavily implicated as a mother’s love in children psychological well being and health, as well as in array of psychological and behavioral problems.