by Gerald Boerner

  

JerryPhoto_8x8_P1010031 Today, we revisit the several aspects of Father’s Day, focusing on Fatherhood. This is second year that we have brought you this series. It is a holiday that was proposed to be a companion of Mother’s Day. It has not received the same press as has Mother’s Day, probably because of the very close bond between mothers and their children.

We have included the post from last year and expanded it to include additional background information on the fatherhood and parenthood. We hope that as you read this and the subsequent posts that you will gain new and fond appreciations for our fathers. They have provided us with the support and love that has nurtured us through the good and bad times.

Let us renew our commitment to become the best fathers that we can be to our own children and not make the mistakes that may have been made by our own fathers. GLB

[ This is Part 2 of 7. ]

    

“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.”
— Alexander the Great

“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.”
— Sigmund Freud

“Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars.”
— Victor Hugo

“If the relationship of father to son could really be reduced to biology, the whole earth would blaze with the glory of fathers and sons.”
— James A. Baldwin

“I intend to fight and I want to win. But my priorities are basically to be a good Brother and a strong one, and to try to be a good father one day.”
— Mike Tyson

“Yes, and I had pimples so badly it used to make me so shy. I used not to look at myself. I’d hide my face in the dark, I wouldn’t want to look in the mirror and my father teased me and I just hated it and I cried everyday.”
— Michael Jackson

“I just owe almost everything to my father and it’s passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election.”
— Margaret Thatcher

“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.”
— Katharine Hepburn

  

Becoming a First-Time Father

About to become a first-time dad? Not sure of what to do with that little bundle of joy when you take it home from the hospital? The following is a reprint of a posting we wrote last year looking at this topic. Following that, we have included some thoughts of practical ways you can help your wife/mother and little baby when they join you at home after the birth. GLB

(The following overview of becoming a new father first appeared in this blog on Sunday, June 14, 2009)

“On how to diaper a baby… Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher’s mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again.”
— Jimmy Piersal, 1968 (baseball player)

Tasha as a babyAll of us fathers started out at the same point with our first child: Ignorant of how to take care of this little bundle of joy. We have waited nine months with our wives as this little one to mature, living with the trials and special needs of our beloved spouse. When the day finally comes, we might be in the delivery room, or we might not be allowed to do so.

While in the hospital, our wives get practice in taking care of this little bundle of joy and she has a cadre of nurses to help out so she can get some sleep. When the mother and baby comes home, look out! Unless you are ‘octomom,’ you will not have this cadre of helpers coming into the home — you become that cadre! As far as feeding is concerned, you are off-the-hook if the wife is nursing; however, if not, you will be expected to help in this process. And, as with all good machines, what goes in must come out the other end of this eating machine — dirty diapers.

Now, whether this is the easy wet diaper or the messy ‘poopy‘ diaper, you will face the TASK. It doesn’t matter that you have passed that critical exam (bar exam, doctoral quals, civil service test, etc.) successfully in the past, this test will TRY YOUR SOUL. In the process, it will also test your dexterity to the limit. After all, isn’t this little bundle of joy fragile? Aren’t you the rookie parent without any PRO experience? Don’t panic.

The above quote will help you to attack the battle of the diaper. Master this skill, your wife will reward you with more than a certificate or degree… She will LOVE you forever!

Fatherhood

Father_and_son_27 A father is defined as a male parent of any type of offspring. The adjective "paternal" refers to father, parallel to "maternal" for mother.

Father-Child Relationship

The Father-child relationship is the defining factor of the fatherhood role in life. Most fathers are naturally protective, supportive, and responsible and are able to provide a number of significant benefits to themselves, their communities, and their children. Involved fathers offer developmentally specific provisions to their sons and daughters throughout the life cycle and are impacted themselves by their doing so. Active father figures have a key role to play in reducing behavior problems in boys and psychological problems in young women. For example, children who experience significant father involvement tend to exhibit higher scores on assessments of cognitive development, enhanced social skills and fewer behavior problems.

An increased amount of father-child involvement has also proven to increase a child’s social stability, educational achievement, and even their potential to have a solid marriage as an adult. The children are also more curious about the world around them and develop greater problem solving skills. Children who were raised without fathers perceive themselves to be less cognitively and physically competent than their peers from father-present families. Mothers raising children without fathers reported more severe disputes with their child. Sons raised without fathers showed more feminine but no less masculine characteristics of gender role behavior.

According to the anthropologist Maurice Godelier, the parental role assumed by human males is a critical difference between human society and that of humans’ closest biological relatives – chimpanzees and bonobos – who appear to be unaware of their "father" connection.

Authority Figure

Fathers-Day The father is often seen as an authority figure. According to Deleuze, the father authority exercises repression over sexual desire. A common observation among scholars is that the authority of the father and of the political leader are closely intertwined, that there is a symbolic identification between domestic authority and national political leadership. In this sense, links have been shown between the concepts of "patriarchal", "paternalistic", "cult of personality", "fascist", "totalitarian", "imperial". The fundamental common grounds between domestic and national authority, are the mechanisms of naming (exercise the authority in someone’s name) and identification. In a patriarchal society, authority typically uses such rhetoric of fatherhood and family to implement their rule and advocate its legitimacy.

In the Roman and aristocratic patriarchal family, "the husband and the father had a measure of political authority and served as intermediary between the household and the polity." In Western culture patriarchy and authority have been synonymous. In the 19th century Europe, the idea was common, among both traditionalist and revolutionaries, that the authority of the domestic father should "be made omnipotent in the family so that it becomes less necessary in the state". In the second part of that century, there was an extension of the authority of the husband over his wife and the authority of the father over his children, including "increased demands for absolute obedience of children to the father". Europe saw the rise of "new ideological hegemony of the nuclear family form and a legal codification of patriarchy", which was contemporary with the solid spread of the "nation-state model as political norm of order".

A Good Parent

Tequitia Andrews, in her article “Characteristics of a Good Parent”, lists a number of characteristics that should help all mothers and fathers to tend to their newborns, especially the first child, with the care and tenderness required. It is included here for your convenience, but check out this posting as well as others at her web site listed in the “References” section below. GLB

Raising a child can be very difficult. We sometimes forget that children need to learn how to become adults from us and that they are not little adults. We have to teach them. In my opinion, there are certain characteristics a "good" parent should have.

A good listener:

As parents, we sometimes are quick to judge our child’s actions or choice of words, that we do not hear their cries for love, attention, or help. We should listen to their feelings, reactions, and opinions. Try to understand their point of view. Look at them when they are talking to show that you are hearing their every word. Put down that book, turn off that television, stop what you are doing and listen!

A good example:

We should treat our kids as our equals and not as subordinates. The "do as I say and not as I do" mentality doesn’t work. Teach your child how to be responsible, caring, a hard worker, patient, etc by exhibiting those characteristics within yourself. It’s not too late for you to do so.

Makes time for the family:

It’s true that many of us have to work to provide our family with the essentials. In doing so, remember that material things cannot substitute love and quality time from a parent. Your child should know that they are important to you. They should not have to compete against your job. The position and title that you hold and your job cannot be passed on, but the love, the traditions, and time put into your family can be carried throughout generations.

Get involved in your child’s life.

Respect their interests, do not down play them as mediocre. Share in some of the activities you enjoy. Become familiar with the current trends. It may be a little different than what you’re used to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to at least respect it.

Displays unconditional love:

Love your child no matter what. Never allow them to have a doubt in their minds of your love for them. At times they may disappoint you, anger you, or even disrespect you, but even during those times they should know that they are loved by you.  No one is perfect, we’ve all made mistakes and will continue to. Shower those imperfections with love.

It’s not much! Simple things that we, as parents, can do everyday.

     

Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Fatherhood… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatherhood

Main Street Mom: Characteristics of a Good Parent… 
http://www.mainstreetmom.com/parenting/goodpar.htm

Brainy Quote: Father Quotes…
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/father_2.html