Father’s are the Fulcrum to Emotional Wellness of the Child
“It is not flesh and blood, but heart which makes us fathers and sons” (children)
– Friedrich Schiller
This age old quote by Friedrich Schiller has beautifully depicted the eternal connection between father and child. Here, I find it important to mention that this article is not at all diminishing the role of mother, or to be more specific the role of a single mother. Rather with due respect to all the strong mothers’ nurturing influences over their children, this write-up is dedicated to the loving and caring bond of father-child relationship.
Just as a child needs his/her mother, he/she needs a father too to feel the essence of the complete family. So during this eve of Father’s Day, on pretext of this article, let us all delve a little deeper in regard to child’s all round personality development and introspect paternal role in positive mental health and emotional wellbeing of children.
It is not only the shared genetically inherited characteristics, but also the social value impacts a child learns from the father that area way more different than the traditional patriarchal concept of masculine intellect. With an involved father, the child not only feels secure and blooms cognitively, behaviorally, socially and emotionally; but the child also gets an outstanding role model to follow during adolescent days to grow as a healthy mature adult. Being a positive role model of the family, a father teaches his son to develop healthy gender-role attitude, and his daughter to be able to relate with men’s in healthy way by forming positive opinion during later phases of life (Oliker, M.D., 2011).
According to social science researchers (Lamb, Pleck, Chernov and Levine, 1987), the plethora of nurturing father-child relationship is three-fold that include:
- Engagement- Relating to intrinsic emotional contact and shared positive communication between father and the child
- Availability- The quality time spent by the father with his children
- Responsibility- Father’s commitment towards, not only the child but, the family as a whole; both in physical and emotional context.
However, here are some very crucial enumerations given by researcher Palkovitz regarding involved fathering:
- Effective communication
- Proper teaching
- Careful monitoring
- Engagement in thought process
- Being provider
- Showing of affection
- Protecting to make child feel secure
- Emotionally supportive
- Arranging errands
- Caregiving the child
- Contributing in child-related maintainance
- Sharing of interests
- Being available physically and emotionally
- Planning together
- Sharing of activities
In this connection, sharing of activities from an early age, for example play activities, is considered to be central to fathering to create, develop, strengthen and sustain father-child bonding. Play activities are not only fun-filled physical activity for the children but also highly stimulated in emotional regulation.
Researchers Allen, S. and Daly, K., in their report on effective roles of father, have exclusively defined an involved father as “sensitive, warm, close, friendly, supportive, intimate, nurturing, affectionate, encouraging, comforting and accepting”.
Nevertheless, as already mentioned in the beginning, its not only about positive paternal role, but the effective parenting that is most required for a child’s healthy development of personality. And henceforth, here without negating the maternal influences, this article is trying to put forward the less talked about contributions and equal parenting impacts of the father in giving their children essence and values of a complete family life.
Last but not the least, it is the father who shows the child how to be a good partner and an effective family person that in turn inculcate the sense of social and moral responsibilities within the child making him/her ready for better social and family life in future.