Dad, a girls first superman and a boys first James Bond, maybe that’s taking it a little too far, nonetheless you get the picture. Fathers, in the past have been portrayed as that man that leaves for work early in the morning and returns late, usually sitting in front of the tv or behind a newspaper. They did not play a major role in their children’s educational, recreational or spiritual lives, however their role seems to have changed over the past few decades.
Fathers now play a more active role in their children’s education, attending school meetings, helping with homework and even playing chauffeur. Perhaps circumstances, with both parents having to work, forced these added responsibilities onto them or could it be that they are genuinely interested?
Whatever the reason, this new age dad is just the answer to today’s social problems. Studies have shown that children living with both parents are emotionally more stable and display a higher level of confidence than children coming from single parent families. It has also been proven that homes with both parents have better financial stability. Despite all the encouragement from government and civil society, South Africa still sits with the dilemma that only 33% of children under the age of 5 come from homes with both parents living together.
Whether it is because of divorce or people just deciding not to marry, the truth is, children need their fathers to be part of their lives. It is important for a father to provide financially for his children as well as to have contact time, physical affection, day-to-day involvement and supportive communication.
The type of relationship a child has with his/her father can determine the kind of relationship he/she will forge with their spouse, co-workers and even their own children. Being a good father does not only mean fulfilling the obligations set out by the law. A good father is that man who will stay up late while his son studies for his matric exams or while his daughter completes her art assignment. He is that man who will take his son to the golf course on a Saturday, instead of spending it with his friends and he is that man who will spend an entire day shopping with his daughter for that perfect pair of shoes. At the end of the day, these are the memories his children will cherish of their superhero.
Suyan Budhoo – Life Coach Pretoria
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