It's Father's Day 2005 and a perfect time for a perspective regarding the important "role of fatherhood." Just like being a mother, fatherhood can be one of the most challenging roles you will ever encounter during your lifetime. Unlike any job or business with a distinctive starting and ending date to your tenure, being a father is a life-long commitment with life-long responsibilities. In comparison to your most important relationships and deepest passions in life, your children have the ability to bring you your greatest pride and joy on one day and a dose of incredible stress on the next. Yet all along you know in your heart that you wouldn't trade the experience of being a father for anything in the world!
Unlike most mothers who tend to nurture and coddle their children constantly, fathers attempt to be the driving force of discipline in their children's lives, to help them grow into strong, independent individuals. This can often be a difficult task to accomplish when Mom's and Dad's play tug-a-war with "parenting techniques and values" serving as the rope. However as with all challenges you face in life, balance and compromise can usually create win-win situations for everyone in the family.
As a caring father, you always want the very best for your children during every stage of their life. You want them to share the knowledge and assets you and your wife worked so hard to attain, in order to make them as comfortable as possible. The trick is to do this without spoiling them or making them dependent on you. This concept is a lot easier to write about then to practice on an every day basis. However it's a worthy goal to achieve which takes guts and perseverance to accomplish.
Mother's always seem to view their children as their babies, even when they are grown up and married. While on the other hand fathers are always looking for ways to help their children act mature and grown up, even when they are 12 years old. Mothers are more patient and tolerant of their children's mistakes and errors that stem from negligence or neglect. Fathers are less tolerant and want resolution to issues "right now." Father's also tend to experience more stress when there are repeat performances of the same errors.
Mother's tend to be more easy going, understanding and flexible about rules that are established or expected by the family members. Father's have a tough time stretching the rules like a rubber-band, because they want to avoid the pain that follows when that rubber-band snaps from being over-stretched.
Mother's often will bankroll their kid's whims just to avoid confrontation. Father's seem willing to engage in confrontation, in order to teach their kid's how to be responsible and earn their spending money to support their whims. This task is usually more difficult than earning the money yourself.
As a father, there's nothing more rewarding than to have your children listen to your advice and respect your judgment. Unfortunately, the generation gap is always a barrier. Father's who truly care about their kids would never misguide them in any way, under any circumstances! If only the children of these caring father's would unconditionally believe this fact about Dad, life could be smoother sailing for all involved.
Alas, there's very little training for being a competent father. Hopefully you can learn good habits from your own Dad and relatives on how to be somewhat effective. Then you'll practice your apprenticeship with your first child, and hopefully get better with your second or third. It takes lots of patience, lots of time and lots of unconditional love in order to achieve success. The prize is watching your kids grow up to be healthy, loving, mature, respectable, and responsible adults. There's no better reward in the world.
After doing your very best as a father, you may someday be blessed with grandchildren. You will then watch your own children live through the same experiences you endured, with the hopes that you prepared them well by setting a good example as a parent. Miraculously, your grown children who become parents will have a new perspective and respect for their own Mom and Dad. They will appreciate the sacrifices it takes to be a competent parent and count their blessings for all the times old Dad stood up and fought for the values he believed in, and helped instill into the characters of his wonderful children. Happy Father's Day to all you Dad's!