The Importance of Dad
There is no doubt about it, a dad lights up a room. There is something almost magical about the way a child looks at dad. As gender lines have recently been the highlight of conversations, I believe it is time to talk about the importance of Dad. Very rarely do you hear from another adult that they pursued something in life to make their mother happy. That’s right, it is typically the father’s approval, a quest to make dad proud that most people are after. As the role of dad has become a more involved one, children are becoming more comfortable with who they are – because they feel loved and supported unconditionally by both parents. It is not new news that fathers who are actively and emotionally involved in raising their children from birth are more likely to have emotionally secure and confident children. Research has proved time and again that children with invested fathers are greater explorers, more social, less likely to get into trouble, and less likely to use drugs. The more nurturing and playful the father is, the higher the child’s cognitive capacities and IQ are. What an amazing correlation. Studies also show that it is the quality of the time spent together between dad and child that is of importance. So many dads struggle with trying to balance work and home, as it has traditionally been the role of the father to ‘provide for the family.’ Even as times have changed and women take on equal working-roles, most dads still feel as though they are unsure of their parental expectations. Knowing just how important your relationship is with your children – what an impact is has on the rest of their lives, it is a lot of weight to carry. Top that with any struggles you may be holding on to internally about your own relationship with your father, and you have a recipe for chaos. You of course have doubts about what you are doing, and guilt over what you are not doing. I am here to tell you to relax and just love your child. By trusting and respecting your child as a true person, and not instilling fear in him (or her) toward you, you will create a foundation rooted in so much more than just hopes. You will have one built on unconditional acceptance, and that my friend is all anyone ever wants. Let go of your expectations. Let go of society’s expectations. Get off the hamster wheel of parenting (and life) and realize that this amazing tiny human is not to be molded into something. It is not your job to help create a being that fits in; instead, let it be your goal to truly learn this child. I don’t mean favorite colors and how he likes his eggs (or her eggs). I am talking about the deep down heart and soul of the child. That’s right, the soul. That means you should bare yours too. Everything will fall into place. There is no perfect relationship between any two human beings. You cannot do and be everything to everyone. What you need to know though is this: You are your child’s hero. Tie on your super hero cape proudly, Dad, for you are one of the greatest reasons your child will achieve his or her own happiness in life – confidently.