By: Vincent Weaver
In the first two parts of this series, we looked at a father’s prominent (and irreplaceable) role in the family. We also looked at how the family structure has changed in many cases, and the fact that there is a serious downside to fathers not being involved in their children’s lives.
So, what are the positive effects of fatherly involvement, and what might that involvement look like? Here are just some of the ways that an involved, committed father can have profoundly positive effects on their daughters and sons:
- · Greater self-control of aggressive tendencies (especially in boys)
- · Increased intellectual and academic achievement (more so for boys)
- · Improved climate for development of healthy gender identity (& reduced risk of Gender Identity Disorder)
- · Increased potential for more satisfying and stable marriages
- · Greater sense of self-confidence and independence
- · Increased capacity for positive, intimate relationships
o Sons know better how to relate to and how to treat women
o Daughters know better how to relate to men
o Sons – physical aggression, non-compliance, criminal behavior.
o Daughters – running away, promiscuity, accomplices in crime.
Furthermore, a committed father can help his child’s healthy development in three broad categories – as Provider, Protector, and Nurturer. A “Provider” goes beyond the obvious of bringing food, clothing, and shelter to the family. (Though, even this can’t be taken for granted these days.) A dad who is regularly involved with his child provides emotional security, too. A child really benefits from knowing their dad is there for them “no matter what”. That type of security will have an effect on their being able to understand intimacy – and on being able to engage in trusting relationships in the future. Men are wired to be more prone to taking risks, as well, and this can help foster creative abilities in their children. (Granted, this can also drive moms crazy, at times.)
An involved father as “Protector” might conjure up images of a “knight in shining armor”. This is very fitting, actually! The dad protects his family from physical, emotional, and spiritual harm. Like Christ, he should be willing to sacrifice for his family – possibly even giving his life for them – to fight off the “dragons” of our day. (Such “dragons”