It feels like a kick in your ass.
You know you are a responsible man.
You are organized. You know to cook, clean the dishes, wash the floor. You know how to manage a washing machine. You can do the daily shopping without having a nanny beside telling you that beer and chips don’t make a dinner. You even know how to sew clothes without ending up in the emergency room.
And when it comes to fatherhood, you have the same huge heart for your child as the child’s mother has.
You love, you hug, you feel, you play, you emphasize.
But after separation, judges set you a few steps lower. No questions asked. They separate you from your child, and the mother will get full custody in most cases.
And the judges do not give a fuck about what actually happened behind the scenes. Nobody asks if the mother is the problem behind the troubles during the relationship.
You’re a man. Guilty.
The truth is…
Dads DO understand the rules of attachment parenting
Fathers enjoy the daily closeness of affections, pampering, and lullabies. They love to spend nights with their kids, sharing laughs and sufferings.
And they care for the child the same way the child’s mother does.
Even if the child didn’t grow inside them.
Paternity should no longer be labeled the way it was in past centuries. That includes giving daddies the sole responsibility of providing the sustenance of a home.
Fathers do not “help” in raising kids. They are not “auxiliary agents”.
Instead, fathers are present figures. They are close participants in the life of those little ones in whom they leave footprints. Those little ones they nourish, love and guide.'It is not the flesh nor the blood that makes us parents and children, but the heart' –Friedrich Von SchillerClick To Tweet
One thing that many pedagogues and nursery specialists often comment on is that a child is part of a tribe.
It seems no one wants to admit that children need to grow up in a small microcosm that includes their dads, granddads, uncles, friends of their dads, and even teachers…
Instead, we always talk about motherhood and that magic bond between a woman and her baby.
No doubt there’s a cosmic connection between mothers and their children.
But that’s only half the truth.
Because every interaction leaves a mark on the child’s brain. Every habit, every gesture and every word.
And fathers have the ability to make an enormous positive impact on their children.
Dads as a figure of the child’s psychological well-being
Something we all know is that as there are good and bad mothers, dads are also fallible, and make mistakes. Sometimes they are present, but still absent in an emotional or physical way.
That’s because they are humans, just like mom – not merely reference figures in the education and upbringing of a child.
The fact is, both parents are responsible for the development of a child. Whether that development is healthy or unhealthy depends on each parent’s maturity and psychological and emotional balance.
The University of Michigan (United States) revealed that, in order to promote an adequate emotional balance in their children, both parents need to take care of their own psychological well-being.
Something that was observed in the University of Michigan’s study is that the effects of a parent’s unemployment and stress, or even simply showing erratic behaviours marked by an unequal character, negatively impact a child’s cognitive development and even his social skills.
Another area in which the impact of the father figure is undeniable is in the development of speech and language of babies.
Having both mom and dad close, the little ones receive much more stimuli. A father provides a different voice than the mother, with another tone and another type of gesture. Plus, kids benefit from a wider range of reinforcements.
Throughout the first three years of life, the close and affectionate presence of the father will also consolidate those delicate processes associated with language.
The nutrients provided by the father figure
The number of single-parent families continues to rise. More and more dads and mothers face the challenge of raising their children in solitude, either because they have chosen to or because of fate.
Be that as it may, care and education of a child requires security and authentic love. Those are extremely important for your child’s physical and emotional stability. And this is something that both women and men need to learn first, before they will be able to provide it to their children.'A good father is worth a hundred teachers' –Jean-Jacques RousseauClick To Tweet
Children do not come into the world with an instruction manual. For a very simple reason: They are not machines.
Children are made of flesh. They have needs, a heart that beats hard and a brain that craves it all. And they are eager to connect with their environment. They need nutrients and a type of food that goes well beyond breast milk, which a dad also knows and can provide.
The 4 most valuable nutrients a father can bring
Our family and the type of bonds established within it determines much of who we are.
Beyond the genes and the blood lies the more intimate and private architecture. Here’s where the realm of our emotions, our fears, our limitations and our values rise.
All of these are dimensions that a good daddy should nurture in the right way.
Let’s look at some examples:
1. Emotional availability.
Dads have the capacity to respond to the emotional needs of the child, which guarantees optimal development and better maturity throughout life.
Every child needs to feel recognized and valued by both parents. Having this paternal side being attentive, close, valuable and full of affection influences a healthy development of self-esteem in the child.
Fathers are not limited only to “being.” They can also feel, favour discoveries, and awaken new emotions and learnings. They can be a tireless “listener,” a negotiator and an indefatigable communicator.
Something that most dads do is open new worlds to their children. Worlds where they feel competent and can enjoy self-discovery at the same time. Many of our parents passed on to us their passions, their love of music, books, nature, etc. – strong values which now define our adult life.
Dads are as important as moms are for a child’s healthy development
One thing to remember is that daddy is not a big boy who only enjoys playing and making his child laugh. A good daddy is an adult with great emotional powers. Someone who is sure of himself, and as courageous as any mother. A good father is always concerned with giving security, encouragement, and affection to that child.
A father makes it his priority that in the future, the child will be able to successfully open their wings and become a free adult. One that is mature and able to give and receive happiness.
P.S. In case you’re a mom who wants to punish your child’s dad after separation:
Stop your anger and hate and go on with your life. Search for professional help, maybe mediation, or therapy for ex-couples.
But trying to cut out your kid’s dad from their life because you want revenge does not make you a mother. You will do much more damage to your child than to your ex.
Get over it!