We know that having and raising children is an enormous experience in life, it makes you reflect on yourself, what is important to you, makes you proud and it can certainly be a challenge. Being a father and how men father has changed dramatically over the last couple of hundred years.
Just to do a quick recap, for hundreds of years before the industrial revolution fathers worked from home and stayed with their family. Enter the industrial revolution, men left the family home and went off to work. They either came home at night or on the weekends. Masculinity then became not about fathering and husbanding but more about money – becoming the provider. Somewhere along this path ‘how good a father was’ became a measure about how much money he could provide. Society and the economics pushed families further down this path. Most of us can probably relate to this and can see it in our own family or childhood.
At this moment in time we are seeing a new phase for fathers, a generation of new dads are realizing not only the importance but the joy that fathering brings. Fathering makes you feel important, strong and loved. Just as it makes your child feel loved and secure.
The influence a father has is long-lasting. Fathers teach their son’s what it means to be a man. “If you are nurturing, loving, strong, self-controlled and honorable, your son will emulate those qualities. If you are emotionally distant, preoccupied and uninterested he will also learn those qualities” Rosenberg and Wilcox. “Fathers also teach their son how to treat and relate to women. If you love their mother, your son learns to treat women with care and love. If you can show your son how to make relationships work, deal with conflict, be an attentive father, provide financially and emotionally, your son will grow up with the knowledge he needs to build a successful and loving family.” Rosenberg and Wilcox.
Fathers also help teach moral behavior. So teach your children right from wrong, talk about yourself and your past the mistakes you made and what you learned and the decisions you made in life.
"What men can do for boys, the way they play with them, the way they talk with them, the way they teach them to be assertive, the way they teach them to problem solve, has profound lasting implications." Mallers. Men are drifting back to the pre-industrial revolution idea of fathering which is being present, playing with their children, teaching their children and loving their children. I see them sharing the nurturing and the parenting – they are being hands on fathers and children will reap the benefits.