A Father’s Role 2 A Father’s Role Research literature in the father’s role of the upbringing of the children has shown that having a father in the child’s life benefits the outcomes for children, families and communities as a whole. Research shows that fathers who live with their children and are active within their lives are more likely to have a close, nurturing relationship with their children.
Other results show that children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, , and avoid high-risk behaviors including drug use, skipping school, and getting involved in criminal activity in the adolescent years. “Within the past several decades the United States research has shown that the father’s role has decreased significantly. An amazing estimated 34% of children are living in father less homes. (Roberts, Carey, 2009) It can be traced as far back as the 1950’s to early 1960’s.
During the Johnson administration the research results shown that more and more children were living in a single parent home, mainly the single mother. What is the main thing when one thinks of a fatherless home: low income. When a father is not in the home the child’s financial status suffers considerably. On average it is estimated that the mother will enroll in some government funded program that will help take the place of the monetary benefit’s a father’s income should provide.
Although money is important to the child’s future and well being it is not the only thing that is needed by the father. It is estimated and stated in stated in Father’s Magazine that their children: * Have a higher rate of asthma, headaches, anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems. * Teenagers are at greater risk of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use, and suicide A Father’s Role 3 * Adolescent girls are 3 times more likely to engage in sexual relations by the time they turn 15, and 5 times more likely to become a teen mother. A father’s role is much more than just money. A father’s role is needed for nurturing of the child’s physical and emotional needs as well as the financial need of the child. The father is the backbone of the family. He is the role model and the head of the household. He offers loving support, guidance and security to the child and family. Without a father role in the household the child not only suffers but the whole family as a whole. It is not complete without the father. The emotional need that a child has for his or her father is vital.
A child being raised by one parent alone, quite often the mother because of divorce or unwed pregnancy doesn’t have the benefits of a secure emotional secure place that it would have if the child was being raised by both parents. The father offers emotional development which the mother cannot even though she may try, she cannot fill the void that is there when a father is missing. Although the mother may be caring, loving, extremely involved emotionally, and able to teach her children the traits, there are still some skills that only a father can pass on to his children .
Do not get me wrong, mothers are a vital role in the child’s life. The mother’s role is pivotal in the emotional development of a child, and who most often teach their children how to deal with their emotions. But the fathers are key too. According to Dr. Robert A. Muehleisen, a clinical psychologist and a father of three children, “Studies suggest that fathers encourage independence and risk taking, and that they are especially adept at teaching problem solving skills” (Johnson, 1997, p. 2). A Father’s Role 5
The best home for a child is one where both the mother and the father are happily married, actively and lovingly involved in the life of their child. Wade F. Horn, president of the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), explains: “… research has consistently shown that children do best when reared with a combination of emotional warmth and behavioral control, they depend for their well being on a combination of mother’s nurturance and fathers discipline” (Horn, 1997, p. 3). Although it is growing popular the fatherhood role is becoming more popular lately.
Many men have chosen the role as the stay at home dad. I had a neighbor who did this. His wife is a FNP and works full time at a clinic in our hometown. The father chose to stay at home and homeschool their adolescent daughter. She was one of the smartest and well mannered children I have ever met. She not only was very smart intellectually she was also kind and witty and had a very outgoing personality. It was as if the roles had been reversed. The wife and mother was the breadwinner so to speak and the husband and father was the care giver and house keeper.
He cooked and cleaned, ran errands, taking his daughter to dentist appointments or doctor’s appointments. Many men would be insulted at this drastic feminine role. For example my husband would laugh at him on several occasions and thought this was very “feminine”. Many men have an idea of what a father’s role is and should be and staying at home is just not acceptable to many, especially in the mountains of Tennessee. Needless to say this family was not from our home state and people looked at them as if they were from Mars.
I think there should be a strong balance in between. Although it is not my personal opinion that a father A Father’s Role 6 should stay home with the children, it is ultimately their choice and should be an individual decision. What works for some families will not work for others. What it breaks down to is the child needs both parents at home. The child needs to have the balance of a nurturing home atmosphere which involves the children, mother and father as a family unit.
Is this a recipe for family bliss, of course not, every family will face their share of problems but the bottom line is that the child was brought into the world by two people, the father and the mother and we as parents owe it to the child to put their needs first and above ours and give the child what they need to nurture and grow into a competent adult. After all, the child didn’t ask to come into the world so why should he/she suffer? A Father’s Role 7 References Horn, Wade A. National Father hood Initaitive 1997 http://www. fathermag. com/topics/importance/ Muehleisen, Dr. Robert A.