In the last two years, some close friends of mine and family have become mum’s. The focus tends to be more on them and the babies they gave birth to; but what about the other half of the union that creates these beautiful little bundles of joy?
There are so many movies that depict the role of a father; all showing very different feelings, actions and emotions. The Champ sees a former heavy weight boxing champion become a drunk and a gambler, yet still his little boy idolises him. Kramer v Kramer shows us how much love a father has for his son and will fight to keep him. On a more, light hearted note we have ‘Meet the Fockers’. Dustin Hoffman (also in Kramer v Kramer) is an embarrassing, yoga loving, open minded and young at heart kind of dad but his son knows he is loved.
So what is the one thing that these father and child relationships have in common? ‘Devotion’.
A fathers devotion to that child means they will have a role model on which to base their manhood on if they are a boy and a role model on which to base a future partner on if they are a girl. It’s a role that cannot be taken lightly. Unfortunately, there are fathers who don’t bother or don’t have the first clue. They will show off the life they have created by puffing out their chests when introducing their new son or daughter to the world for the first time, proving his masculinity. Once the child is no longer a cute baby they distance themselves. This must surely bring into question their up-bringing? Some can change the cycle but others don’t know where to start leaving the mother to pick up the pieces.
So mothers should nurture and fathers should be devoted? Devoted meaning they provide, protect and are there when you need them. Ask most children and they won’t tell you that they need their fathers in their life; they will tell you that they want them. They want you to be at their first football match, they want you to watch as they perform in their first school play, they want you to be the first to know when they pass an exam. You are the first person they draw a picture of when they are old enough to pick up a crayon.
Recently, I have observed how different fathers act and respond to their children. The love, devotion and guidance that these men convey, is truly heart-warming. That certainly wasn’t the case when I was growing up…tough love or no love at all. There was no way I could go to my dad with a problem or question; it just wasn’t the ‘done thing’. Things seem to be very different now and most kids can easily talk to their dads about so many different things. The fear that many of us had has been replaced by something new; confidence and the freedom to express feelings and thoughts.
I applaud all those dads who are there for their kids, for those of you that aren’t? By the time you’ve figured out why, your child won’t want you anymore.
© Michelle Sotiriou 2012