Happy Father’s Day! We don’t mark this special day with the same fervour or fanfare as Mother’s Day. The celebration is muted somehow, like the unobtrusive way our fathers have taken care of us. Fathers have remained marginalized, rarely given much credit for their role in parenting and children’s upbringing.
The father is always relegated to paler significance when compared to the nurturing power of motherhood. But, fathers are the selfless resilient authority of our homes, a lifelong protective foil for the children. Human fathers are a very special breed as they are one of the rare species invested in bringing up their offspring, unlike most other species where the mother is the only nurturer. Other super-dads in the animal kingdom include Indian jackals, bull frogs, seahorses and flamingos.
Growing up our fathers have been our strongest sense of security, who with their unassuming stoicism took care of our needs to the best of their ability. Some of us have had fathers, who were intrinsic in their affection, while others grew up with more exuberantly affectionate fathers. No matter the personality, fathers have remained our most beloved role models from whom we imbibe the basic tenets of life.
The significance of father’s role in our life has great impact on how we grow up and the life choices we make. It has been found that children are likely to take up antisocial behaviour if the father is absent or non participating in a family unit. The Father Effect is now being widely recognized for its significant impact on the child’s upbringing. Today, paternity leave has finally become the norm in recognition of father’s role in nurturing children.
Let’s look at 5 ways the Father Effect contributes to our personality.
Whatever gender you are born with is bequeathed by your father’s chromosomes. Father determines the sex of the baby depending on whether the sperm is carrying an X or Y chromosome. An X chromosome from father will combine with the X chromosome of mother to make a baby girl (XX) and a Y chromosome from father will combine with the X chromosome of mother to make a boy (XY).
If you have had a father who took time out to spend time with you as a child, be it playing childish games with you or putting you to sleep by singing a lullaby or reading a story, it has had a great impact on how confident you grew up to be. A father’s attention is a great confidence booster. This basic confidence is crucial in developing future interpersonal skills with your peers along with healthy social skills in dealing with society.
Creates Emotional Security
Involved fathers give the child a feeling of well being. As children, father is the one we look out for protection, be it the childish fear of danger under the bed or keeping us safe at night. Studies have found that a girl child who receives physical affection from father has no esteem issues. The children who grow up with fathers in their home have lesser anxiety issues. The long term benefit of forming healthy father child relationships is also significant in developing well adjusted personalities in adulthood.
Positive Role Model
Children grow up adoring their fathers and grow up wanting to impress them. So, they tend to make better choices and decisions to make their father proud. So if the father is a positive role model, the children end up leading a more organized and stable life. Boys tend to model themselves after their father’s character while the girls look for the father’s qualities in the men while considering a partner in adulthood. Children are constantly looking up to their father for their identity formation, playing a crucial role in making healthy choices throughout their growing up years.
Fun Teacher Parent
Fathers are the ones who factor the fun part in parenting. Even as a baby, father involves in rough and tumble physical activities like picking you up and twirling you, giving you more freedom to explore and enjoy unlike the protective mother. This helps not only in forming a unique affectionate bond but also teaches you crucial life skills of independence and risk taking. Growing up, fathers encourage indulging in more sporty activities. Be it teaching to ride a bike or playing football, father does not allow an injury or setback to stop us, gently encouraging us to try again. While mentoring us, our father is constantly teaching us how to overcome challenges and explore our potential. Our interactions with father teach us the crucial life lessons of facing challenges, assessing risk and dealing with failure.
Fathers are the central figure who we revere and look up to all our lives. Some of us are lucky enough to have more than one father figure who guide us and remain the pillar of strength in our life. It could be a step father, grandfather, brother or uncle who steps into the role seamlessly with touching devotion. Fathers are the only real breathing superheroes we will ever know.
Here is a heart touching video on fatherhood.