The way a father acts with and towards his child has a big influence on his child’s development. Through current scientific research we are now articulating some of the specifics. We can no longer burden mothers with placing the psychological well being of their child solely on the mother-child bond. A number of writers are now making the scientific research on fatherhood available in “decoded” formats for every parent to have access to. Here are three ways dads make a real difference in the lives of their children.
I spent this Father’s Day with my daughter and son-in-law and granddaughter. It wasn’t that long ago I was that young dad like my son-in-law just starting off and celebrating my first Father’s Day.
It was in 1985 when I started the Fathers’ Forum programs. I offered classes and workshops for expectant and new dads. I was struggling myself trying to make sense out of what it meant to be a father. And the whole adventure began that has shaped both my life as a man and my career as a Marriage and Family Therapist. My kids were 1 year and 4 year’s old at the time.
I still continue this journey both personally and professionally…it is great to have adult children and have them “off the payroll” and making their way in the world. I can honestly say that all the choices I made to spend time with them and be able to share in their growing up has given me a real feeling of a very special connection with each of them. Read more
I was at the community pool yesterday. I was watching a dad help his 4 year old daughter get in the pool. She kept walking up to edge and then shying back. She saw her friend playing in the water with her dad and clearly wanted to get in the pool with her dad. He tried coaxing her and reassuring her that the “water isn’t to cold,” “you are a good swimmer,” I will hold hold you and I won’t let go.” She began to cry saying she couldn’t get in.
Her dad got out of the pool picked her up and said it will be OK…”you love the water.” And while she was crying he carried her in the pool…while she conducted somewhat of a tantrum. In about 45 seconds…holding her hands and pulling her through the water she was laughing and looking like she was having about the best of a time.
This is what dads do…help us take the “plunge” when we perhaps are tentative about taking the risk. It has something to do with boundaries.