Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Validating Role of a Father

Since mothers give birth and are generally the nurturers in the family, we tend to discount the importance of a dad's role in the family. That is one of the few traditional roles that have stuck with us since the days when fathers were hunters and mothers gathered wood for the day's meal. Fathers were often absent and today still, this is often the case.
An absent dad adds pressure to a mother's already heavy load. Not only does she physically have to do everything, but she has to be there emotionally for her family too, not only as a mother but also as a father. No longer does she have to be the nurturer, but also the authoritarian. This can be rather confusing for the children and the confusion can easily spill over into their adult lives.
Many fathers are there physically, but they are not plugged into the children emotionally. This may cause bigger problems for a child that a father who is physically absent. Children with a disengaged dad tend to think that they are unimportant to their father or that they are burdening him. This can result in anxieties and insecurities and the children may never feel that they are good enought to live up to anyone's standards.
Parenting roles should be co-operative in the sense that a mother should instill values and the father should validate the mother's teachings. Children who experience this lack of validation often grow up to look for validation in the wrong relationships.
Validation is a stamp of approval that tells a child that they are loved and accepted unconditionally. They should be aware of the fact that they are an integral part of the family and that other members care about him or her. They want to know that they are loved unconditionally by their father.
The relationship a child shares with his or her father is an important one. If a father is absent, someone should fulfill that role to the best of his ability. A mother could always approach a family member, a friend of a youth pastor to give the child the validation he or she needs.
Men who grow up without a good example are often confused about how they too can be good fathers. This makes it difficult to be a good father to your own children.
Dealing with teenagers is particularly difficult, especially when there are behavioral issues at play. Children tend to act up instead of saying that they want more attention from their fathers.
There are many steps that can be taken by a father to validate his children. However, it also very simple. What you do does not really matter as much as ensuring that the child knows that he or she matters.

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