As we grow up, we transform into who we were meant to be. Our character builds and changes based on what we learn in life. Each one of us ventures out into the world preparing for, altering, and then creating new beginnings. For men, some of them become fathers.
Of course, in today’s world the tradition of father has changed and widened to what holds true. Men have many titles that determine their place in the family unit. For instance, he can be a father, stepfather, adoptive father, foster-father, stepson, stepbrother, half-brother, or even just a close, personal friend. The bond that he holds with another person usually tells that part of the story for him. With each generation new traditions are born and people alter their ideas on what is acceptable, inviting, and good when defining their family. The one factor that remains true—fathers are important.
Some people understand how vital a mother is to a child’s development, while that same message can get lost when talking about the significance of a dad. Dad plays an important role in the family and that can’t be discounted. There are exceptions to every rule, but when a man sees how critical his role is as a father, he will grow and mature to become a changing factor in a child’s life. Although the picture of life may not be what he expected, the more effort he puts into creating that definition of family, the better chance children have for a happy and gratifying outcome.
While on the subject of fathers, I believe that boys generally flock to Dad to model their personalities, while girls flock to Mom for theirs; however, I do realize there are exceptions to that belief. There are many men who are much closer to their mother, but have the physical characteristics of their dad. They may be outgoing like their father, while still holding their mother’s sensibility; whereby identifying strongly with the opposite-sex parent. With all that said, I think when teaching about life, the traits of both parents can apply equally. Depending on the lesson to be learned, children can gather their moral compass from either side.
For example, I learned how to be responsible more so from my father, while I got my compassion from my mother. As a parent, all you can do is your best to balance what you teach your children. Imagine if you don’t follow through on your responsibilities; more than likely, your children will learn to discount your actions, or they may even apply that value to their own interactions. Let’s say you show accountability for your actions, making good on what you said or did; then you are teaching self-awareness and fairness. Perhaps you showed gentlemanly qualities to your child, such as opening doors and saying “Excuse me,” or maybe you were aggressive or hurtful in your words because your past pains kept you from growing. Examples of what children learn vary far and wide, but if you think about what you are portraying to your children, you will learn the lesson. Regardless of what you’ve been through, regardless of who you are today, deciding to be a good dad is critical. I was fortunate enough to have a father who showed me traits that I needed to succeed and I’m a better person today because of him.
What is unfortunate and disheartening is that some men aren’t given a good example to follow and the standards they choose for themselves are less than optimal. Even when a boy has a solid parental foundation, he may not follow that lead when making choices. I know it’s not always true that behaviors are passed down from generation to generation, and that every man reaches for his own path, but consider the possibility that children learn most of what they know from their parental figures. Trust me when I say, it can be frustrating and disheartening to look back at where you wasted precious energy and time. Time that’s gone—there is no rewind.
A father, or father figure, is essential to a child’s upbringing because that relationship teaches the child how men should treat and love women. For instance, if you get good vibes from the way your father conducts his intimate and family relationships, then you will hopefully choose to be a nurturing and caring man. If your dad is a loving, caring, responsible, upstanding gentleman then this sets a standard for you. Your father shows you what standards to set for your own life. The path you take is up to you.
To validate whether characteristics can be passed down, take a look at yourself. As you learned how to be a competent, independent, confident, understanding, or patient man, you gathered your spirit from many places. Think about how you can pass down your best qualities to your children, as you decide what you want for them.
With all the power and strength you can muster up, give being a father all that you have to give. You will be blessed for the job that you do and your future will flourish and prosper. Along with this result, comes higher self-esteem and confidence levels for your children, as they grow and advance into adulthood. Always try to be a positive influence in a child’s life. Make the difference.
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