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The Importance of Dads

We’ve all heard the jokes.  They all go something like this:  A Mom knows her kids’ likes, dislikes, joys, fears, school classes, activities, friends, etc.; a Dad is vaguely aware that there are short people in his home.  However, the reality is that Dads have important roles in the lives of their families. 

Dads are role models.  As children mature, they try to decide who they are and who they want to become.  Many if not most of their choices are based on the examples set for them by those people who are closest to them.  Dads’ behaviors, then, show their children how adults are “supposed to be”.  Further, dads’ behaviors set their children’s paradigms for gender-based expectations.  Must men have short hair or is a pony tail an acceptable option for a man?  What about facial hair?  Can men wear pink and still be masculine?  Are men supposed to be strong, tough, emotionally reserved, can-do kinds of people?  Is it good for men to be nurturing, soft-hearted, gentle kinds of people?  Are men obligate breadwinners or can men be equally valued stay-at-home dads?  Is a man the head of his household or a peer-level partner with his spouse?  What does an adult male look like, act like, think, and feel?  How does he relate to others?  What does he value?

Dads help establish their children’s self-esteem.  As children mature, they try to decide how they fit into the world.  Do they have something of value to offer?  If so, what?  Part of this decision-making process is tied to gender.  Daughters, in particular, can suffer adverse affects from their dads’ absence prior to and during their adolescence.  Promiscuity, early pregnancy, lowered academic performance,  dropping out of high school, no college education, and adult poverty are all too common among women who lost their fathers prior to or during their adolescence. 

Dads are providers.  Households with two incomes (i.e., income from two working parents) are much more likely to exist above poverty level.  Children in such households are significantly less likely to struggle with malnutrition and other physical and psychosocial affects of poverty.

Divorced dads speak of child support, here referencing the legally required post-divorce transfer of funds from fathers to mothers to cover some of the costs of raising children.  In the final analysis, however, true child support is “being there”, nurturing each child, day by day.  Dads who do this are investing the greatest value in their children.  Without this child support, children are disadvantaged in a host of ways.  Dads, therefore, have important roles in the lives of their families. 

On this Father’s Day, we at Nannies4hire.com salute dads.  Thank you for all you do, for the important influence you have in shaping the lives of your children and the world around them.

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