News November 2021
Family Man by Keryn Foley
How important is the role of fathers in their children’s lives? Portrayals on television and cinema can sometimes devalue the role of fathers. However, we know that father’s play an important role, typically influencing children’s development in some of the following ways:
· Dad’s love their children more ‘dangerously’
· They encourage risk taking in their ‘rougher’ play
· More active play and sometimes slower response to infant frustration can increase children’s problem solving skills
· They often provide a broader social experience
· They encourage competition.
This is only scratching the surface of the important role that father’s play. And, of course while mother’s and fathers are different, one is not better than the other. The role played by fathers was historically an Authoritarian figure. You might have heard things like ‘do as I say’ or ‘wait until your father gets home’. We may also experience father figures as warm, kind, respectful, fair and fun. This would be considered Authoritative parenting, a healthy parent- child relationship that is nurturing, supportive and guiding.
Certainly, some fathers have experienced ruptures in their relationships with children and building repair pathways means learning new ways of fathering.
If you are sometimes feeling so frustrated with your child that you feel like blowing up, or find yourself wondering how well you know your child, you are asking normal questions as a father. In fact, this awareness that things are not where they need to be and want to change is the first step to a healthy parent-child relationship. Keep seeking, and be the father that your child needs!
There is help available to learn new parenting skills though group or individual sessions.
Visit our website or phone 1300 619 379 and ask about support for fathers.
Keryn Foley is our Family and Relationship Practitioner and is thankful for the seeking role of father’s in their children’s lives.