The third week of June fast approaches. One of the things that come with it includes the celebration of Father’s Day. However, a lot of families dread this day rather than celebrate it. In a traditional sense, a father is expected to be the head of the family. As the figure of authority, children see them as stoic and less expressive of their feelings. Meanwhile, mothers nurture and remain more emotionally receptive as parents. Ah, gender roles – how and when will you ever cease to exist.
Maybe a guide to being a better father will help. Although I doubt it, well… it is father’s day.
A lot of people assume as long as the father stays within the family and remains physically present, then it would be fine. As a society, we have very little expectations of men. This is why the barest minimum of being physically present becomes celebrated. However, being a parent also entitles a man to become emotionally available to their children. Failure to do so often inflicts emotional damage to the kid. Then, they carry it until adulthood and if they don’t happen to heal from it… the cycle continues.
A guide to be a better father
Disclaimer: Your mistakes and shortcomings to your children may never be repaired or taken back. However late, it is still worth trying to be a better father and a better person in general.
First, do not be afraid to appear less masculine.
Studies find that men, especially fathers, are afraid of seeming feminine to appear more in control. They deflect and bury down their feelings until they become emotionally unavailable to their children. This creates a gap between them.
Second, listen to your children.
It is vital that you not only hear your children but actually listen to what they are saying. Being heard is a vital aspect of the development of a child’s emotional stability. As a parent, it is your responsibility to listen to your child, however petty or nonsensical their thoughts might be. This will allow you to build a healthier environment for them, and you as well, to communicate your feelings comfortably.
Third, remember that being physically present does not absolve you from being emotionally absent.
It is a common misconception that being a father’s presence equates to being a proper parent, but it’s not. Maybe you are able to financially provide for your family. Or attend your kids’ birthday. Maybe even pick them up from school from time to time. But these do not automatically mean that you connect to them emotionally, especially if you never try.
Be a father, this day is for you!
Not to say that you should be a good father to your child on father’s day. However, since it is the time to celebrate your day, they might as well do better to deserve it. You do not want your child resenting you and the month of June just because you could not be bothered with connecting to them. One day, you will think back and realize that it is already too late. Maybe. If it does come to a point where there is no hope in fixing your failures with your child, then simply work on yourself. Let your child heal and grow. To the non-fathers who stepped up to become one, this day is for you as well.
Happy Fathers’ Day to the fathers who actually mean being one!
Raine is a writer who finds comfort in mornings as they are more conducive in getting her creative juices flow- as the sun rises, so does her level of productivity. She spends a lot of her free time daydreaming about roaming the streets of Paris and even tries to learn the language of love. To put it more bluntly, she is a writer who sometimes writes.