For as many years as I can remember, society claimed that it was the mother who was the most important person in a child’s development. She was the nurturer, the caregiver, the one who supplied all of her child’s needs. And most of us never questioned that.
Now, however, with more stay-at-home dads raising their children, we see that this isn’t really true. I’ve always known that fathers play a very important role in a child’s life. He serves as a role model for his sons, both positive and negative, and he teaches his daughters what they can expect from their future boyfriends and husbands.
If a father abuses his daughter, this is what she will expect from her male relationships. It may be painful but it will most likely be accepted because it’s familiar.
The same can be said of sons. If he sees his father abusing his mother or his sisters, he will probably feel comfortable doing the same to his girlfriends and wife. If he is the one who is abused by his father, he might use his fists on anyone who is weaker than he is. He will undoubtedly have a storehouse of anger and become a bully, just like his father.
But, for children who have loving fathers, more than likely, they will try to emulate him if, for no other reason, than children always want parental approval and love.
Never underestimate the influence of a father. He wields a lot of influence, not only if he is a major presence in the house, but also if he is an absent presence. If the father has abandoned his family or if his job takes him away from the house much of the time, that absence is a living reminder of what his children are missing.
I don’t know why this is so but have you ever seen a woman trying to get her child to brush his teeth and go to bed, or a woman trying to get her dog to obey her commands?
A woman often has to repeat herself but, one word from the man and his child brushes his teeth and goes to bed immediately, and his dog obeys him without a whimper.
The time is fast approaching when society will recognize that a man’s importance in child rearing is equal to the woman’s.