I’d like to invite you to come along with me with me as I search for an answer to the question, “What is a Father?”
The approaching Father’s day weekend, has turned my thoughts to my own father who has gone to be with God, and my mother, in Heaven. This post is in honor of my father, Dixon Waite.
Happy Father’s Day in Heaven, Pappy.
If you like poetry, you may read the poem I wrote for my father yesterday. Here is the location. Just copy and paste into your search engine.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to say
Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there.
What is a father?
As I contemplated this question, so many ideas came to mind. I will share some of my thoughts later on; but I thought you might like to see what Wikipedia has to say about fathers.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A father is the male parent of a child. Besides the paternal bonds of a father to his children, the father may have a parental legal and social relationship with the child that carries with it certain rights and obligations. An adoptive father is a male who has become the child’s parent through the legal process of adoption. A biological father is the male genetic contributor to the creation of the baby, through sexual intercourse or sperm donation. A biological father may have legal obligations to a child not raised by him, such as an obligation of monetary support. A putative father is a man whose biological relationship to a child is alleged but has not been established. A stepfather is a male who is the husband of a child’s mother and they may form a family unit, but who generally does not have the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent in relation to the child.
The adjective “paternal” refers to a father and comparatively to “maternal” for a mother. The verb “to father” means to procreate or to sire a child from which also derives the noun “fathering”. Biological fathers determine the sex of their child through a sperm cell which either contains an X chromosome (female), or Y chromosome (male). Related terms of endearment are dad (dada, daddy), papa, pappa, papasita, (pa, pap) and pop. A male role model that children can look up to is sometimes referred to as a father-figure.
My thoughts about fathers
It is my opinion that fathering a child does make a man a true father. He gave his sperm to mingle with the mother’s eggs to produce an offspring; and is therefore called the child’s father. But if he is not present and actively involved in the child’s life, he is not fulfilling the role of father.
A father in the truest sense of the word is one who is there, mentoring, teaching, nurturing, and cultivating a relationship. This person could be the biological father, an adoptive father, a step father, a grandfather, or just a mentoring person who is actively involved with raising the child.
We tend to think that the mother is the important person in the home, at least to the children. She is the nurturing one, right? She is the one that carries us around on her hip, kisses our hurts, rocks us to sleep and tells us how much she loves us. (If she is a good mother that is)
But children need both parents. That’s why God created marriage. Both parents have different attributes to contribute; and differences in how they interact with their children.
The dad is the one who carries them on his shoulders, “the bigger than life” figure that sees to it that they obey, the one who teaches them to play ball and ride a bike, and to use their brain for something other than a hat rack. 🙂
In an ideal world, there are two biological parents, who are married, raising their children to be healthy, happy and productive adults.
But…we don’t live in an ideal world.
So many children are being raised in one parent homes these days. Some men father children with no love in their heart for the mother of their baby. The mother is left with a choice of abortion, or raising the baby alone. The father figure for this unfortunate child is MIA.
Many couples choose not to marry even though they are living together. So many, in fact, that living together without being married is not considered a sin by most young people.
They start having children without being bound by marriage to each other. It is my opinion that this family is building their house on the sand; because not having a marriage certificate, leaves separating an even more viable option.
Families are broken and torn apart. Sometimes the marriage vows are broken by infidelity; other times because of selfishness, unforgiveness, incompatabilty or abuse. In some cases, new families are formed in which one adult is someone other than a biological parent.
Children are expected to adjust to their new “family”, which may include other children who are not their siblings. There are jealousies, disagreements and sometimes physical fights between biological brothers and sisters while growing up. Sometimes the hard feelings linger into adulthood.
But adjusting to living with other children, who are not their biological siblings, can be a nightmare for children who are already dealing with the heartbreak of divorce.
Single parent homes, though sometimes unavoidable, are not ideal circumstances for the children. Usually it is the mother who is the single parent.
She is forced into the impossible situation of being both mother and father to her children. Without the father figure present, there is double the strain of raising children alone; while being the sole breadwinner.
Children from single parent homes are more likely to be depressed and have a lower self esteem. They often don’t do well in school. They may begin to use drugs or alcohol as a means of coping.
Fathers are important in the family unit.
Father’s react differently towards their children than mothers. These sometimes opposite behaviors by their parents show the children that men and women are different. They look different. They act different. They have different outlooks and coping mechanisms. This is very important to their children’s development.
Fathers play with more gusto than mothers. During this kind of rougher play, children learn what are acceptable behaviors. For instance: biting, kicking and other violent behavior is not tolerated. And they learn self control by being told to settle down when someone has had enough.
Fathers encourage children to take risks that their mother may discourage; like playing sports for instance. These kind of risks can build confidence and open a whole new world of experiences to a child.
Fathers are usually the ones urging the child to swing higher, run faster, or climb a little higher. This encourages the child to stretch their boundaries and try new things.
Children gain confidence, and a wealth of experience, by succeeding or failing, while trying new endeavors. All the while being cheered on by a proud father.
Fathers seek to prepare their children for life and it’s challenges and disappointments. They explain to their children the consequences of certain behaviors. For instance: “If you don’t be nice and share with your friends; they won’t want to play with you anymore.” Or, “If you don’t study and do well in school; you won’t get into a good college.”
Having a father active and present in the home helps the child establish good gender identification.
Girls with actively involved fathers are more likely to have healthier relationships with men later in life. They learn from their fathers how they should be treated and what behaviors are appropriate and what are not.
Boys who have actively present fathers learn about what it means to be a man from their fathers. They will learn to understand the world from a masculine point of view.
They are less likely to be violent; because they have been taught by their fathers to channel their strength and masculinity in more positive directions. An actively present father helps the son to understand proper sexuality, and male hygiene and behavior; even if only by observation.
Involved fathers can bring a dynamic into the home; that no other person can. They teach the children in ways that no other person can duplicate.
Fathers, make no mistake. You are important to your children’s future. Actively involved and physically present fathers have a role to play in the family dynamic, that no other person can duplicate. What you teach your children and what they learn from observing you, and their mother, will form and shape them into the adult that they will become.
If you have a father who is still alive; please acknowledge them this Father’s Day. Fathers get so little appreciation. And they may feel that their contribution to the family is not important. They need to know that you love them and are proud of them. While they are still present on this earth, wish them a Happy Father’s Day this weekend.
Please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below. Your thoughts, feelings and questions are important to me. I will answer all comments as soon as possible. Thank you.
Thank you for stopping in. I love company and my door is always open. Come back again soon. I post every week; so there will be something new here for you on your next visit.
At your service,