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Throughout history fatherhood has evolved from the hunter gather, to the Pre-Industrial, to the Industrial, to the modern 21st century (Burgess). Through each era the role of a father involved him to simply provide for his family, which meant going away and not spend time with them. Even in the 21st century fathers are required to spend a great deal of time away from their wives and kids. Being a father entitles much more than just providing for the family. It entitles a father to bond and help raise his kids. Without the presence of a father, kids grow up struggling through life. The role of a father is to provide support and positive interaction in a child’s life, without these elements a child loses the ability to fully experience life. Ashley Rhodes the author of “Fatherhood is Essential” covers these main points in her essay by providing examples of her own experiences with her father. Support in a child’s life is one of the key elements that shapes the type of person that child will become in the future.
The support of father doesn’t only shape the future of a child, but it also establishes an in depth connection between father and child. Without that connection a dad loses sight of what is occurring in his kid’s life. For example, in Rhodes essay she mentions, “Dads are suppose to be there for the good times and in the bad… when my boyfriend dumped me and I cried for three days…he still doesn’t know about it” (Rhodes). The lack of emotional support with a child leads to a father being oblivious to his child’s personality because he wasn’t there to see what emotions were let out in different situations. “Children living with a never-married mother are more likely to have been treated for emotional problems” (Remez). That is a great reason why the support of a father is needed, kids shouldn’t have to have emotional problems because it takes a toll on the way they behave in society. The emotional and social support of a father benefits the youth in amass aspects. For example, “Father involvement is positively correlated with children’s overall social competence, social initiative, social maturity, and capacity for relatedness with others” (Daly).
A father should have a social, emotional, spiritual, and mental balance of support because it is one of the key elements that set the foundation for the development of a child. The best and simplest thing for the development of a child is the mere positive interaction from his father. There is a commonly used idiom that originated in Jamaica in the early 18th century (Wikipedia.org) that younglings follow, “Monkey see monkey do.” That is one of the main sources in which a child improves or disproves his or her behavior. For example, if a kid see’s his father kissing his mom (monkey see) then the kid by nature is going to mimic that action (monkey do). Now lets apply this concept to more complex situation. Lets say a father yells and abuses his wife in front of their kid (monkey see).
Throughout that kids life he is going to do the same thing, yell and abuse his wife (monkey do). But if a kid witnesses his father leaving and never coming back, the cycle repeats. When he or she has kids they may do the same to their kids. The same idea applies to the decision’s a father makes. “It is too bad that my dad could never understand how his decisions affected me and my brother. It is to late to take back the effect he has had on our family, my attitude toward men and my body, and the way my brother thinks about relationships and women” (Rhodes). Her dad’s choices scared her and her brother for life on concepts that they use on a daily bases. If her father understood this before hand it could of prepared them positively and mentally, as well as provide a disciplined way to handle those types of situations.
The positive interaction of dad sets up kids to “better school performance, less trouble with the law, better jobs and careers, better relationships with others, and higher self-esteem” (LeFebvre). It not only benefits the child, but it also benefits the father because “….it provides fathers with opportunities to display affection and to nurture their children. Involved fathers are more likely to see their interactions with their children positively, be more attentive to their children’s development, better understand, and be more accepting of their children…” (Daly). That one to one interaction between child and father benefits them both to becoming healthier people.
The absence of a father’s support and positive interaction damages the development of children. Without support children cultivate emotional and social problems that lead to social incompetence and social immaturity, which takes a toll on them at a young age. Negative interaction causes them to make the same bad decision a father makes. With encouragement and positive interaction from fathers’ kids have a successful and healthy life, an enhanced idea of relationship, and a foundation to past down to their kids.
Burgess, Adrienne: The Making of a Modern Father. Fatherhood Reclaimed . Vermillion : Vermillion , 1997 . Daly, Sarah and Allen, Kerry. The Effects of Father Involvement: An Updated Research Summary of the Evidence. Ontario: University of Guelph, 2007. LeFebvre, Joan E. Why Fathers Are Important. 31 January 2012 <http://www.babyzone.com/mom_dad/fatherhood/article/fathers-are-important>. Remez, L. “Children Who Don’t Live with Both Parents Face Behavioral Problems.” Family Planning Perspectives (1992 ). Rhodes, Ashley. “Fatherhood Is Essential.” Repetto, Jane E. Aaron and Ellen Kuhl. The Compact Reader. Springfield: Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. 259-261. Wikipedia.org