The importance of a father in a child’s life cannot be underestimated. There’s adequate scientific evidence to prove that the presence of an active and engaged father has a huge impact on kids’ mental and emotional development.
How a child’s life will pan out when he becomes an adult is a direct result of the quality of relationship he has with his father, his upbringing, and both the positive and the adverse experiences that will shape his personality and character.
The Pillar of the Home
A good father is the pillar of the home. His strength of character, integrity, and sense of responsibility will serve as a cornerstone of much stronger and more stable family life.
And kids need family stability for their psychological health based on numerous studies conducted.
If you want to know more about the perverse effects of family instability on a child’s psychological health, here is a scholarly article written on the subject at ncbi.nih.gov.
Father’s Absence and Neglect Can Harm A Child’s Mental Health
Should the pillar collapse, everything can go downhill. A mother then has to take up the cudgels to ensure everyone survives.
Some families survived and thrived despite the absence of a father, but it’s rather a long, traumatic, and difficult journey to get through.
Evidently, an absent, violent, or neglectful father can result in an unhappy childhood– a childhood scarred by fear, trauma, and heartaches.
You can imagine the insurmountable damage a bad father can inflict on a child’s mind and heart, negatively impacting the child’s life and future relationships for years on end.
Father’s Role in Child Development: A Dad’s Role in Parenting a Daughter
A daughter’s early interactions with her father will be her relational blueprint in her relationships with men when she becomes an adult.
She will often be attracted to men with the same qualities as her father.
If her father is considerate, caring, and responsible, she will be more inclined to seek a relationship with a man who embodies the same qualities as her father.
Should her father be a rude, uncaring, and abusive human being, she will sadly seek the love and approval of men who have the same unsavory and objectionable character traits.
Father’s Role in Child Development: A Dad’s Role in Parenting a Son
While young girls pattern their relationships with men based on their father’s personality traits, young boys model their behavior after their father’s character.
By nature, boys are genetically predisposed to seek approval from their fathers.
We can attribute this natural inclination to our will to survive as a species, so much so that when boys grow up without a father, they will look for male figures that will set rules and guidelines for them on how to behave, survive and thrive in their chaotic and challenging world.
Responsibilities of a Father
1. Responsibility to lead by example
A father must be a man of integrity by living what he preaches. No one expects a dad to be perfect—-because there’s no such thing as a perfect father.
But a father must make it a priority to live his life with integrity. He owes it to his children to measure up to the same standards he will require them to uphold when they become adults themselves.
2. Responsibility to model appropriate and harmonious relational behavior and good communication skills with everyone.
The quality of a child’s relationship with his father will determine the quality of his relationships with everyone he comes in contact with, in his growing up years and in his adult life.
Children’s early interactions will be their internalized relational blueprint on how they will treat or relate with others.
According to a study, kids who grew up having healthy relationships with their fathers have a positive self-concept and a healthy sense of self-respect, giving them a head start to form bonds and deeper connections with others.
3. Responsibility to be consistent in setting clear boundaries
A father must consistently enforce the rules he has set for his kids to follow. Consistency is a must to bring up well-disciplined, considerate and respectful children.
Should a father become lenient in enforcing boundaries, he will lose his credibility, which can spur the kids on to willful disobedience or defiance.
4. Responsibility to nurture and discipline at the same time.
A father can enforce discipline without being emotionally aloof or physically abusive. His love for his children must still be evident even when imposing discipline.
He can use appropriate disciplinary strategies that positively impact his kids’ behavior without resorting to physical or verbal abuse.
Here is a helpful article on disciplining a child using an authoritative parenting approach approved and endorsed by leading child psychologists to raise happy and successful children.
5. Providing financial support
A father must provide financial support for his children’s basic needs, like food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical expenses.
Conclusion: Father’s Role in Child Development Should Make Fathers More Mindful of Their Responsibilities
Knowing how negative childhood experiences can ruin a child’s future, it is then important for a man to think twice before deciding to father a child.
He should ask this question first. “ Will I be the kind of parent who can devote time and effort to make sure my son or daughter will have a happy childhood?”
Children are God’s gifts to us. We must ensure we have what it takes to give our children the best shot at life by being good role models worthy of their emulation and respect.