Along with mothers, fathers play an equally important role in the upbringing of children. Read on to learn about characteristics of good fathers.
Have you noticed how, for most children, their father is the 'coolest guy' around? Even though the mother is often the one who is more closely involved with their daily affairs, it is the dad who is the real hero. He is the idol after whom little boys model themselves: the way they talk, the way they walk and the way they dress. As for little girls, well, he is the first 'man' in their lives.
However, almost always, the bubble bursts. As children approach their teens, the cool guy, at least at times, becomes the 'old man on the couch', or something equally inappropriate. Newer heroes, friends and ambitions may shunt him out of his esteemed position. This makes no difference to the father, however, for whom, his child, even when he or she grows up, remains the apple of his eyes. Here is a list of reasons why all fathers truly are the heroes in their children's lives.
They Love Us
Parents probably personify the concept of uncompromising sacrifice. But while the mother's role is the stuff that legends are woven around, it may often seem as if the dad just gets taken for granted.
Have you ever wondered about how unquestioning a father's love can be? Consider this: mothers are the privileged ones, who carry the baby in their wombs. For nine long months, the mother forges a bond with her developing foetus. She eats and breathes for the baby and feels his tiny heartbeats inside her. Throughout the period of her pregnancy, her life is, physically and emotionally, intertwined with that of her child.
But what about the father? His only point of reference with regard to 'his' baby (discounting some fuzzy ultrasound images), is the growing bulge in his spouse's belly, until suddenly, he is handed a tiny wailing bundle to hold in his hands. Yet, at that instant, fathers fall in love with their children, and devote the rest of their lives to caring and providing for them.
They Provide for Us
Mothers nurture the babies in the crucial first months of their lives. Single minded, they devote themselves to the task of breastfeeding the baby round the clock, changing soiled diapers and rocking the baby to sleep. But isn't it the fathers, standing rock-solid in the background, who make it possible for mothers to do their job?
Fathers have traditionally been the breadwinners. They ensure that both, the baby and mother, are well provided for, and that the bills are paid. They create a situation of warmth and safety, in which children can grow up and mature. In fact, many of them do so without even expecting the reward of being around and watching their children as they grow. Think about the millions of dads working overseas or employed in the defence forces, who uncomplainingly slog through their lives for the sake of their families whom they rarely get to meet—all that they can cling to are mere wisps of distant memories and the curled photographs in their wallets.
They Protect Us
Do you remember the time you were afraid to walk into a dark room? And then maybe your father picked you up, whispered a word of encouragement, patted your cheek and carried you in. Do you remember how safe and protected you felt then? Many of us have memories: of fathers standing by us during our moments of anxiety—before an exam, an important sporting match or a school stage performance—helping us prepare, calming our fears with words of assurance and proudly applauding our efforts.
While mothers shower children with love and the sense of being wanted, it is fathers who provide us with a sense of security. They are the constant in our lives, the bedrock upon which we fearlessly build the foundations of our lives. Whether you are a toddler taking your first faltering steps, or nervously pacing the hospital floor as you await the birth of your own child—you can be sure that your father will never let you down.
They Teach Us about Life
Fathers are our greatest teachers. They teach us how to ride a bicycle, fly a kite or knock mangoes from a tree. They teach us to drive, to manage our finances and to operate our first bank account.
More importantly, they teach us to take on the challenges that life throws at us. They teach us, when we fall, to get up and keep moving on. We learn, by watching them, how to relate with the people in our life, some of whom may not always play fair. Fathers instil confidence in us, encourage
us to identify our goals, and give us the courage to go out and attain them. They teach us, through their living example, that at the end of it all, honesty and hard work pays.
Most of all, it is they who teach us the true meaning of responsibility, as we grow up to become parents of our own children.