Hurray for dad! In June, we celebrate fathers and the roles they play in our lives. So, here’s our spotlight on all the awesome things dads do!
Dad Knows Best
Modern dads bridge the old stereotypes. Dads don’t come home from work and just read the paper on a recliner, like on Leave it to Beaver. His support is more than just financial; his participation is an integral part of raising his family. What hasn’t changed is that a father’s interaction, listening and advice continues (in Ward-like fashion) to bring huge value to his family. If you want to fix a problem, ask dad.
Dads and Their Daughters
A girl watches her dad interacting with her mom and the loving, nurturing ways he provides attention to the family. His example ensures she knows what to look for when she’s forming her own relationships. Dads teach their daughters what a good man looks like and, ultimately, how to choose a good husband and father for their own kids.
Dads and Their Sons: Boys to Men
Fathers teach their sons how to be men. Whether it’s sportsmanship at baseball games or interaction with their mother, they teach boys the value of hard work and family. Dads teach their sons how to maintain their sense of masculinity while honing communication skills as an employee and as a spouse.
Security and Protection
As we said, dads are geared towards fixing problems and this makes their families feel safe. When there’s a hurricane coming, you know dad is securing the perimeter. When he says, “it will be okay,” everyone believes him.
The Perfect Playmate
Dads provide “rough and tumble” play. Next time you’re at a pool or playground, notice the kids screaming with delight at being thrown into the water or pushed higher on the swings by their fathers. Much research has been done on this kind of play and its effects on kids. It increases physical coordination and teaches kids about fair play and creating/respecting boundaries, among other things.
Dads are the best cheerleaders for their kids’ activities, encouraging them to take risks and to push their limits, which helps them grow and become productive members of society. This encouragement builds character and instills wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem.
Balancing the Scales
Moms and dads often have completely different parenting styles, interests and opinions. Their superpowers balance each other out and give kids a strong foundation and create a well-rounded learning environment.
Cool as cucumbers, dads don’t tend to stress about the small stuff; however, kids know that they’ll enforce the rules. There’s a reason “Wait till I tell your father!” is a threat we’re all familiar with. Knowing that dad delivers discipline gives kids a sense of stability and respect for authority.
“Dad jokes” aren’t always funny, but you can rely on dad for some silliness, especially to lighten the mood. Whether you laugh or groan, he’s not going to quit anyhow.
Special thanks to Sharon R. Thetford, Psy.D. for her help with this article. Dr. Thetford is a licensed psychologist who chose her career while still in elementary school. She began with the intention of helping kids and found she enjoyed counseling people of all ages. She has been in clinical private practice for over 30 years. Dr. Thetford conducts 8-week parenting classes at her practice, New Objectives Psychology, Counseling & Neurofeedback Center in Longwood, where she serves as director.