Basic Importance of the FatherhoodFatherhood is a concept characterized by father’s fulfillment of creative, organizational and protective role towards the child. Fathers are authority figures in children’s lives, and especially in case of boys models for their own personal, emotional and social identities. In the eyes of children, fathers are loved, respected and often feared, which provides them with the opportunity to pass their values onto the children and lead by example. Sigmund Freud wrote extensively on the subject of fatherhood and the way he viewed it. Freud believed fatherhood was closely linked to the Oedipus complex, which represents the boy’s unconscious desire to sexually possess the mother and get rid of the father. Freud claimed that sons develop and hold back their sexuality through their fathers. Many other scholars also believe that boys strongly identify with the fathers or father figures in their lives. Being academic individuals or not, the majority of people believe that having a father who is actively involved in the child’s life is highly beneficial. Other than often providing the family with financial security, fathers are needed to offer love, comfort and support. Unlike mothers, fathers are the ones who more often engage in play with the children and who provide them with practical knowledge of the world. Children of both sexes look up to the fathers and follow their examples in relating to people outside the home. Parenting is not concerned with weighing the importance of one parent against the other but rather on the role that both parents play in the child’s life. Further, as more mothers are entering the workforce, the roles of each parent in the household are mixed.
Why is Good Fatherhood Beneficial to Children?
Being an actively involved father translates into engaging in play, caring for both the physical and mental well being of the child, as well as being available emotionally and intellectually. Numerous research studies have shown that having an involved father reduces the chance of cognitive developmental delays in a child. It should be noted that involvement should start right after birth as children as old as three months can tell the difference between mom and dad. It has also been demonstrated that children who grew up with supportive and attentive fathers do better on cognitive and language skills tests than those who grew up without the father figure or whose fathers were distant and unapproachable. Having strong cognitive abilities is closely linked to doing better in school. Also, regardless of the father’s own level of education, having him involved in the child’s studies increases the possibility that the child will graduate from high school and also go on to complete post secondary education. Other than helping the child reach his or her full educational potential, father’s attention toward the academic life increases the at-risk children’s change for staying in school and passing classes. Father’s interest in the child’s life reduces the amount of problem behavior in sons and leads to more stable mental health in daughters. Further, individuals who grow up with fathers who lead by positive examples tend to be more successful in their careers. Having a strong father figure in the household reduces the risk of problem behavior, juvenile delinquency and issues with the law. Children who have loving fathers grow up to be open minded, empathic, self confident, ambitious, socially competent and less inclined toward believing in stereotypes as well as holding prejudices. Not surprisingly, children who have both loving and supportive parents go on to raise their own families in a positive manner. Individuals who have close relationships with their parents are more supportive of both their children and wives. Growing up in a happy, stable home proves to be closely linked to being satisfied with life and have plenty of self-confidence.
Involvement of Non-residential FathersWith such high divorce and separation rates among families, many researches were curious to evaluate the influence of involvement of a father who does not live with his children. Numerous studies have indicated many benefits to both the child and the father himself. For instance, those who grow up with fathers who live outside the home but provide love and support do better in peer relationships and go on to develop better social skills than those without a strong father figure. Students whose non residential fathers are involved in their school work achieve higher grades. Further, non residential fathers who are nevertheless involved keep their children away from trouble during teenage years. Young women who did not live with their fathers but whose father were highly supportive proved to have fewer psychological problems throughout life. Lastly, having a loving father unites both the immediate and more distant family. When the fathers are attentive to their children they often engage their spouses in loving, nurturing and stable relationships.