Really, why fathers matter in our lives

The author’s dad (center) behind the camera, and below, as a costumed warrior.
PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

In all my years writing about parenting, I have found that only a small fraction of all the articles I have written and edited have to do with the father.

Fathers are never really the target demographic for parenting websites, articles or publications, yet they play such a big part in raising the family.

It seems that mothers are always in the limelight because of all the things we do ( and boy, do we do a lot!). Maybe men don't need to juggle career, kids and personal time as much as women do, but their presence is a lot like gravity -silent and strong, keeping everything centred for the sake of their families.

One of the biggest roles of a father is to simply be present in their child's life and to be a constant source of shelter and protection.

They are the backbone of our families. In this day and age where Supermoms abound, the father seems to have taken a backseat, in a role reversal where women are highlighted.

The truth is, every good mother and wife can only be truly happy and perform her duties properly when she has a good husband to anchor the family's values.

Likewise, children feel safe and secure when their father is present and involved in their lives.

Women are able to pursue their hobbies and careers when the man of the house is supportive. As John Wood said, "The best thing a father can do for his children is love their mother."

Right choices

Fathers give us confidence. I speak for myself when I say that my father gave me the confidence to make the right choices in life. His support means the world to me. If he tells me that he thinks I should walk away from something, I do.

I am fortunate to have found a husband who gives me confidence in anything I do, as well. From the time I made children's clothing, to getting into wine and essential oils, my husband was right beside me, bringing people to my trunk shows, drinking bottles with me, and now, smelling of all sorts of essential oils that I put on him.

They give perspective. Sometimes, everything seems cloudy and murky, but the advice of my dad and husband always seem to clear things up. Perhaps it has to do with the way men's brains work.

Most men make choices without emotion (of course, there are the exceptions) and gain perspective after weighing things fairly. This has helped me numerous times in my decision-making process.

They teach you how to deal with other men. Children model their parents, and this is especially true for little boys.

Little boys look to their fathers to see how they should act, behave and most importantly, treat other women. They teach the boys how to dress, how to groom themselves and later on, how to carry on doing business.

Girls look to their fathers to see how other men should treat them. If a young girl sees her father treat her mother well, this becomes the standard for how she will expect men to treat her.

Fathers are more important than we will ever know. They make us feel important, valued, loved, safe and secure. Absentee fathers cause many problems in society.

These range from depression to low self-esteem; children of absentee fathers are more likely to be incarcerated or commit suicide, to do poorly in school and do drugs.

Even fathers of children from broken homes can make a big difference in their child's life by simply being present at activities, or to spend quality time. Every moment counts.

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