When one talks about parenting, one cannot dismiss the important role that fathers have to play in raising a child. Although a mother’s love is undoubtedly irreplaceable, children need their fathers to develop healthily, too.
A study done by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore found that “children who have fathers in their lives learn better, have higher self-esteem and show fewer signs of depression than children without fathers.” It was also seen that children who “perceive their fathers as supportive feel a greater sense of social acceptance and show fewer signs of depression.”
Dr. Stephen F. Duncan, Ph.D., in an article he wrote for the Montana State University Extension Service titled “The Importance of Fathers,” says, “Father involvement makes a real difference, whether in the areas of intellectual development, sex-role development, or psychological development. Most kids do better when their relationship with Dad is close and warm, and when Dad lives with them.”
Undoubtedly then, fathers have important roles to play in their children’s lives. Here are 10 of them:
1. Priest For Francis A Buenaventura, MYP Language B Teacher and Learning Support Teacher at the Beacon School, Taguig City, his roles in his kids’ (Patricia, 13; Freedom, 7; Miguel, 6; and Fides, 7 months old) lives are crystal clear.
“As much as I can, I make sure we are a family that lives according to the commandments and will of God,” Francis explains. “This helps us all be more attuned to God's love for us. “On a deeper level, this role gives me the chance and opportunity to simply direct my children's lives towards God, especially during their growing up years.”
Meanwhile, Ramon F. Santiago, an independent financial broker under the International Marketing Academy and a trainer at the Wealth Academy, and father of four grown children, draws from his 37 years of parenting experience to share his thoughts on a father’s role.
“God has given the father a very special and unique role in the family,” says Ramon, who is also an active leader in his Catholic lay community, Couples for Christ. Ramon explains that the family is like a domestic church, and a father has an important role to play in the spiritual life of the family. "He has to lead the family in prayer such as before and after meals, blessing of the children before they go to school or work, and the sharing of God’s word.”
2. Protector Francis says, “I feel this is innate among fathers all over the world. I'm not being sexist but I've observed that men must be sensitive even to the simplest security issues that concern our lives,” he says. “Protection doesn't just involve physical safety but also emotional security, financial security and others.
As for Ramon, he believes that fathers must not only protect their children physically from any danger or harm, but also protect them morally and spiritually. “Studies have shown that many of the problems in society today, such as learning disabilities, emotional, behavioral and psychological problems that lead to juvenile delinquency, pre-marital sex; drugs and crime; are the result of growing up without a father due to broken marriages. There are so many forces in the world today that attack and erode family life and values.”