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A Good Father
by Jeanmarie Wilson • Lake Ronkonkama, NY

In society, much of the focus is on the importance of the motherís role in the healthy development of children. There is much truth to this, however the significance of each parent in the life of a child cannot be underestimated.

It seems that, at times, the fatherís role takes a backseat and he is seen primarily as the financial provider or even worse, as a babysitter. Viewing the fatherís role in this manner is a disservice to the father and the children he raises.

Who was your role model? Did you have a good father? Was your father there for you when you needed him? Did he provide the foundation you needed to prepare you well for your life and relationships? If not, how did that affect you? I have seen a number of individuals who talk about their fathers with admiration, respect and even devotion. They remember how their father was there in the difficult times to guide and support them. He was there during the memorable times as well, taking time away from his schedule to nurture the family. Their father put the needs of his family before his own and was someone they could always count on. What a wonderful beginning for the journey of life!

Then, there are others whose fathers were absent, emotionally or physically, often leaving a void in their hearts. What does it say about a child when their father abandons them or isnít there to care for their needs? Actually, it says nothing about the child, only about parents who did not love themselves enough to be able to give love to another. Plain and simple. If this was your experience, are there strengths that you developed as a result? Perhaps, you became more empathetic to the difficulties of others, more independent or, at some point, learned lessons of forgiveness. Perhaps, you vowed to be an excellent parent yourself due to your experiences as a child. What a gift this is for your children and the generations of children in your family to come!

A good father is priceless.

A good father encourages his son to respect women, to treat them with kindness and admiration. He cherishes the women in his life while viewing them as equals.He respects their views, their opinions and their feelings. He demonstrates this by treating his wife, his mother and his sister with respect, compassion and understanding; he knows that his son is watching him closely. A good father teaches his son to be an honorable person who lives life according to his own values and does so with authenticity and integrity. He teaches his son to stand up for others, particularly those who cannot advocate for themselves. He instills in his son the need to be independent, to follow his intuition and to take time to enjoy life.

A good father teaches his daughter to stand up for herself, to share her views and create the life that she envisions. He supports her during the struggles she encounters but does not create dependency. He teaches her to expect respect from men and to choose her partner carefully; he conveys the fact that we teach others how to treat us. A good father understands that he serves as her first male relationship and that a healthy relationship is crucial in order for her to develop positive relationships with men. He lets her know that she can simultaneously be tough and feminine, assertive yet kind and can create wealth solely on her own. She never experiences a minute of doubt that her father is there to cheer her on as well as turn to for advice and consolation.

A good father is priceless. He knows how to walk the fine line between support and dependence. He knows how to take care of himself as well as his family. He realizes the importance of his actions as well as his words and chooses them carefully. He understands that he will not be perfect and when he is not, he acknowledges it, apologizes and holds himself accountable.

A good father cherishes the gift he has been given through all of the phases and transitions children go through, understanding the significant impact that he has on the precious life he has brought into the world.

A good father is truly a blessing in a childís life.

 

Jeanmarie Wilson, M.S. has been a high school counselor for over twenty-five years and is the parent of two young adults. Her book, Parenting from Your Soul, offers a new way to view the parenting role, based on information she learned from working with thousands of families over the years, raising her own children and from the awareness she gained along her own spiritual journey. Jeanmarie is passionate about helping parents approach the amazing, yet often challenging, parenting journey with compassion and wisdom. www.parentingfromyoursoul.com.