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Reminding the country of the importance of fatherhood.

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Fatherhood

Reminding the country of the importance of fatherhood.

As we continue to show honor and gratitude to the man in our lives that was responsible for bringing us into being, we must remind this country that fatherhood continues to have a lifetime impact in our lives, and should be revered and approached with a sincere passion.  I could go into the general belief that in order for a child to strive, it must have both parents living in the home, but that’s not what this column is about.  It’s about Father’s Day, and the reality of the situation is that many families are not traditional in terms of what we know.    

America has now awakened to the fact that some younger fathers are insignificant in their children’s lives.  There could be many reasons for this, be it by design or by force.  But the truth is that we need more fathers actively involved in the lives of their children.  It is true that a lot of younger fathers are complacent with just giving financial support, but I am here to tell you that this is not enough.  Yes, you are supposed to provide monetary needs for your children, but I am certain that all kids would rather spend quality time with their fathers.  In your kids’ eyes, your worth is not measured by pecuniary needs, but by the love and attention that is given.

For the fathers that are in their kids’ lives, I encourage you.  Please make sure to respect your kids.  I am not referring to the respect that adults deserve, but I am saying that we should watch our attitudes around them, and try to be pleasant. A child can read emotions, and they know when things aren’t going well.  The problems of adults should never be the worries of a child. 

While we should love our children unconditionally, we should also learn to reprimand them whenever it is necessary.  I am not talking about disciplining them to the point that they are afraid to come to us when there is a problem, but reminding them whenever they make a mistake so that they will know what the outcome of the particular action will be the next time it happens; possibly deterring the behavior. 

At the same time, we as fathers should praise our children whenever they accomplish a noteworthy feat.  We should also keep the line of communication open with them.  If our children are not able to come to us as fathers when there is a problem, they will definitely go to someone that they feel confident in, and this person might not be uplifting.  Children will talk, but when that line of communication is closed, it is very hard to win that trust over again. 

One desired quality that a father should possess is the ability to instill traits in their children that will eventually make them a productive and successful adult.  Take an interest in anything positive that your children are doing.  This will give them the desire to do their best at it.  Don’t be afraid to ask your children about their future aspirations.  This is a way of getting them to think about the many good possibilities that the world has to offer.  Also, continue to feed their intellect by strongly encouraging college or a vocational degree. 

Remember that you don’t have to necessarily be a child’s father in order to be a father figure.  Opportunities are sometimes presented to us that are unavoidable, and we as fathers must be able to see these opportunities and act upon them in a promising way.  For example, there might be a young child in your neighborhood that needs guidance. Or you might devote some time on your weekend at the local Boys and Girls Club.  There are many avenues that we fathers can take in order to make our society a better place. 

I say all of these things because I know that they are very important attributes in being a father.  My father possessed all of these traits, and it played a major role in defining who I am today.  As I reflect back on his characteristics, I realized that more children need the same type of moral support in their lives.  We live in a world that is full of corruption and dishonesty; a world that can very well engulf a child and spawn them out to be full of hate, anger, and pain.  I am not saying that fathers have to be perfect.  I’m just asking that you give it your honest effort.  Believe me; your kids and the world will appreciate it. Many people in this global community will never meet the parents of these children.  But when they meet the children, the parents are reflected back through them.

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Dr. Williams is a nationally syndicated columnist, former chairman of the economics department at George Mason University, and author of More Liberty Means Less Government

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