Fatherhood is commonly considered to be a general, universal term, clear and interchangeable in all cultures around the globe. However, this is not quite so since a father figure is something created in a specific culture.
Thus, every separate culture has a different form of a father figure, with set rules and expected behavioral patterns of a male in a family. If you are interested in these peculiar forms of cultural diversity, the following lines will give their best to provide you with additional information on the subject.
Culture and Fatherhood
If we observe the fatherhood from a typical Christian perspective, we notice that Western families who consider themselves Christians usually value the fatherly wisdom in the household, praying for that characteristic to be present within the male parent. On the other hand, people from Africa usually pray for providence and grace, leading the fathers of these areas towards promoting education for their children, adhering to their physical needs.
Of course, such attitudes are not exclusive and there are many cultures which contain a great diversity regarding fatherhood. For example, many members of the African culture and heritage function in societies where there are more than one father present in the family. Namely, the biological father is the “main” male person having this name. However, uncles are all considered to be fathers of their nephews and nieces, being involved in their lives significantly and possibly even taking the place of the biological father, should he die.
The typical Western family, on the other hand, functions differently. Of course, relatives do influence each others lives. Yet, the importance of the father figure is not transferable. Rather, it is connected to just a single person in the whole family.
Social status affects the father figure too. Recently, in Uganda, there was a case of a father clubbing his two children to death, hanging himself afterwards. Later, during the police investigation of this occurrence, the police concluded that the main culprit behind this tragedy was poverty. Thus, in some cultures, fathers who are not capable of providing for their family may not consider themselves fathers at all.
Nevertheless, generally, fathers carry the role of being the providers and protectors in most cultures. Additionally, even though these characteristic are commonly neglected, fathers are counselors, spiritual leaders and bearers of wisdom. Now, obviously, in practice this may or may not be so, depending on each male individual who has one child or more children of his own.
Importance of Being a Father
The absence of fathers in households is a common matter of concern, especially in modern families where divorces and separations of the spouses are not considered strange or wrong at all. The problems was first noticed during the mid 1990s, at least as far as the US is concerned.
Basically, according to a report that a fatherhood revival movement of the times exposed, 40% of American children were living in families which lack the male figure. The whole absence of the father figure was even transformed into the term “father hunger” being used during the 1990s in the US.
Today, the situation has only got worse and many experts fear that America is turning into a fatherless country.
Observing the situation from the child's perspective, growing up without a father may reflect badly on one's personality formation, success at school and many of the situations affecting him/her later in life. In fact, both parents need to be involved in the lives of their children since spouses commonly assign different parenting roles between one another, addressing specific needs that their child may have. Thereby, only united and together can parents manage to provide for all emotional, social, interpersonal and educational needs of their children.
All societies should cherish the role of fathers in families, accepting them as crucial in the lives of their children since motherhood stands for a unique and crucial, but different form of support for every growing and developing human being. The fatherhood takes the other 50% of parenting and makes this part of one's life a whole.
To sum up, fathers should be involved in every aspect of the lives of their children, including education, regardless of their marital status. Not being married to the mother anymore does not make one less of a father to his child, if he makes sure that he provides all the necessary forms of support the child needs.
Societies change and so do attitudes towards what a family is. In modern times, we have families which consist of male figures who are biological or stepfathers, or even fathers in a homosexual marriage in some cultures. Thus, many changes in the family nucleus are bound to appear in the future too. Yet, one is for sure – being a father means being there for your child, regardless of the problems he/she may be experiencing, making sure that the child is happy and healthy at all times. Sons of such fathers often grow up to be excellent fathers themselves while daughters of such fathers know exactly what to look for when it comes to their future ideal husbands. Hence, a father figure is something crucial for every single family on the face of the earth.