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The Meaning of Fathering

| November 12, 2013

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I believe that the primary role of a father is to delight in his children. He cherishes and values them and takes great pride in their accomplishments.

When a father makes promises he keeps them. His children can count on their father to “deliver.” When he says, “We’re going to the ballgame tomorrow,” his children believe it. Children, busy playing their weekend games, gather confidence and energy because they know that their father will be present cheering them on.

A devoted father is not the so-called “Disneyland Dad.”
He is involved in all aspects of his child’s daily life. A dedicated father is not afraid to parent through educating, nurturing, coaching and setting appropriate boundaries for his child. He is involved in establishing parental guidelines affecting behavior at school, home, and in the community. He is quick to reinforce positive behavior through encouragement and appropriate rewards. A father is capable of refusing the demands of his children and setting logical consequences for inappropriate behavior. A father never accepts excuses from his children for behavior that is not appropriate.

It is important that a worthy father role model positive energy and establish loving relationships in his life.
A father maintains integrity in his relationships with others. He goes out of his way to promote the spiritual and psychological development of others. He realizes that much of what he demonstrates is “caught” by his children rather that “taught.” Fathers need to demonstrate the kind of behavior that they expect from their children; otherwise their words are of no substance.

Caring fathers act proud of their children.
They spend more time telling their kids how they feel about them rather than boasting to other people about their children’s accomplishments. Children desire to hear praise and encouragement from their dad, not the next-door-neighbor. Fathers must develop the courage to express affectionate feelings directly to their children. A father must never assume that his child knows that he loves and cares about him. A courageous father must demonstrate what might have been lacking in his own childhood. He must always love through words and actions.

A loving father must learn to forgive himself when he makes mistakes.
He will need to keep in mind that parenting is an art. And as the “Good Book” says, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” If a father disappoints his children – and invariably that will happen – he demonstrates his courage by acknowledging his weaknesses and making amends. An exemplary father understands the power of hurtful words and withholds from saying things that may leave his children with emotional scaring.

Good fathers never forget what it was like to be a child.
If their childhood was a troubled one, they seek ways to redeem that which was lost. These fathers ask others for help and they grieve their losses and move on. They forgive those who hurt them and vow to never repeat the pattern with their own children. They are aware of how to break the intergenerational cycle of abuse.

Fathers can’t be mothers so they do their best at being who they are. They are tough, firm, fair and compassionate.
They want their children to develop into independent adults so they assist them along the way in building confidence. A wise father never does for his child what the child can do for himself. This wisdom allows a father to believe in his children and let them go when they are ready to launch. He never holds them back because he is caught up in his own needs. A wise father cherishes every positive moment he has had with his children and courageously lets them go because it is necessary. He values the memories while he waits for his children to come back to him as mature adults. Children who return as adults will continue to count on their fathers for encouragement and support.

Every day we have with our children must be savored.
There must be a sense of urgency about fathering because it only lasts for a fleeting moment. As fathers, we must reflect on our time with our children and say, “I did the best that I could.” With no regrets, a confident father must move on in an attempt to reestablish his own life. A successful father is not interested in an epitaph reading, “He was a great employee.” On the contrary, he desires to be acknowledged for the quality of his life with his family.

James P. Krehbiel, Ed.S., LPC is an author, freelance writer, and cognitive-behavioral therapist practicing in Scottsdale, Arizona. His book, Stepping Out of the Bubble is available at http://www.amazon.com He can be reached at http://www.krehbielcounseling.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=James_Krehbiel

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