Prince William with Catherine and their children
Becoming a father is often a life-changing experience.
Prince William said that becoming a father was one of the most amazing moments of life. “Having children is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is.”
Freelance writer Rob Jenkins says that fathers can change the world, one child at a time. He says to dads: “Resolve to improve the world one child at a time — starting with your own.”
Dr David Popenoe, Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, says:
“Fathers are far more than just ‘second adults’ in the home. Involved fathers – especially biological fathers – bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring.
“They provide protection and economic support and male role models. They have a parenting style that is significantly different from that of a mother and that difference is important in healthy child development.”
That is because men and women are different. Both are equally important to children, but they parent a little differently.
The Christian ministry Focus on the Family has this to say:
“Dads … love their children more dangerously. That’s because they play ‘rougher’ and are more likely to encourage risk-taking. They provide kids with a broader diversity of social experiences.
“They also introduce them to a wider variety of methods of dealing with life. They tend to stress rules, justice, fairness, and duty in discipline.
“In this way, they teach children the objectivity and consequences of right and wrong. They give kids insight into the world of men. They prepare them for the challenges of life and demonstrate by example the meaning of respect between the sexes.”
Focus on the Family quotes parenting expert Dr Kyle Pruett who points out that while mothers and fathers are both physical with their children, fathers are typically physical in different ways.
Fathers tend to play with their children, and mothers tend to care for them. Generally speaking, fathers tickle more, they wrestle, and they throw their children in the air (while mothers warn, “Not so high!”).
Fathers are louder at play, while mothers are quieter. Mothers cuddle babies, and fathers bounce them. Fathers roughhouse, while mothers are gentle. Fathers encourage competition; mothers encourage equality. Fathers encourage independence while mothers encourage security.
Fathering expert John Snarey notes that children who roughhouse with their fathers learn that biting, kicking and other forms of physical violence are not acceptable. They learn self-control by being told when “enough is enough” and when to “settle down”. Fathers help girls and boys learn a healthy balance between timidity and aggression. Children need mum’s softness, as well as dad’s roughhousing. Both provide security and confidence in their own ways by communicating love and physical intimacy.
On Fathers Day – this coming Sunday – we celebrate the special place of fathers in our families and our society. I pray that the Lord will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, as in Malachi 4:6.
National Director - FamilyVoice Australia