Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. was in private practice for more than thirty years. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states ...Read More
There was a time, quite recently, when the question was raised as to whether fathers were necessary in the rearing of children. I believe that research and common sense have put the question to rest. Discarding the research and focusing on those raised without the presence of a father, it is clear that many of them would have been better off if a father had been present.
In my opinion, based on both my life and professional experiences, human beings need the presence of both mother and father to make a healthy adjust to adult life. It is not a matter of who is more important, mother and father, but how they relate to one another and to the children.
For purposes of this posting, we will focus on the father:
What do fathers do?
The presence of a strong and supportive father helps daughters learn about the opposite sex and how to relate in ways that are warm and safe. Very supportive father’s help girls gain in self confidence and go on to have successful careers in a competitive world. In other words, a really supportive and encouraging father sends an important message to his daughter that she can be aggressive in the outside world because there is no reason why women should not compete and succeed.
The presence of a strong and supportive father helps sons learn how to fulfill the masculine role in ways that are competent and loving. A supportive and encouraging father helps his son learn how to be a man in an aggressive world but also how to be a father when his time comes, and how to be a family man.
To a very large extent, children learn from the models of behavior presented by their parents. In other words, there is a lot of learning by imitation. If children grow up in a family where there is a lot of domestic violence there is a good chance this is the road they will follow when they are adult.
It seems to me that Fathers Day presents all of us with the opportunity to remind ourselves that both parents are necessary to raise healthy and happy children. In addition, it is important for men and fathers to understand that it is part of their role to wash dishes, cook, vacuum and change diapers, right along with Mom.
Happy Father’s Day