21 September 2011

The Essential Father/Bringing Up Boys

The statistics in this chapter made me cry.  It is so sad to see so many boys struggle through life because they have no father, no father figure, or a Dad who is unavailable or not involved in their life.

Reading this chapter made me thank God for a godly husband who loves his children, who has made a covenant to stay with his wife, and to be involved in his children's lives.

Did you know that in America only 34% of all children born in America will live with both biological parents through age 18? Only 34%.

Did you know that in the 1990s there was a report entitled Code Blue that examined the general health of adolescents in the US and their report was this: "Never before has one generation of American teenagers been less healthy, less cared for, or less prepared for life." (of course it is even worse today in 2011)

Did you know that 70% of black babies and 19% of white babies are born out of wedlock?  Most will never know their fathers or experience what it means to be loved by them...no wonder boys are in such a mess today!

Since so many fathers are not at home, this means many mothers must take their role and work outside of the home which means, nobody's home to invest in these children's lives.

Here are some more important facts about how important the role of a father is:

* there is an undeniable linkage between fathers and babies beginning at birth
*infants as young as 6 weeks old can tell the difference between mommy and daddy's voice
*By 8 weeks babies can distinguish between their mother's and father's caretaking methods
*infants are born with a drive to find and connect to their fathers.  As they begin to speak their word for father often precedes their word for mother.  The reasons for this are unknown...
*Toddlers are especially obvious in their assertions of fatherneed: they will seek out their father, ask for him when he's not present, be fascinated when he talks to them on the phone, and investigate every part of his body if allowed
*"Teenagers express fatherneed in yet more complex ways, competing with their father and confronting his values, beliefs, and of course, his limits.  For so man sons and daughters, it is only at the death of the father that they discover the intensity and longevity of their fatherneed, especially when it has gone begging."

Having two toddlers myself, I definitely see how much my kids miss their dad throughout the day and just NEED to be near him when he gets home for work.

I have found that it is my job as mommy to build up daddy by my words and actions even when he is at work.

*We talk about how hard daddy works to provide for us.
*We praise how much he loves us and does great things for us.
*We thank him for fixing things around the house, or making a great red sauce, or just for spending all day with us.
*When daddy isn't home we still talk about him, and how he loves us, and why he works so hard for us.
*I even tell Mark and Julia that daddy works two jobs for us so that mommy can stay home all day and take care of you!

I also have noticed how the kids just want to be near him, hug him, and want his attention when he gets home.  I've stopped trying to compete by sharing what's on my mind (I can talk to him when they are in bed) and let the kids have that quality time with dad.  Mark loves for John to pick him up and hold him, and Julia loves for daddy to see her color or dress up.

I've also seen how the kids marvel at John when he shaves, or puts a hat on or wears cologne!  Julia and Mark will say, "Dad, you smell good! or Dad, you look handsome!"

I've always know the father/daughter bond is special because I adore my dad, but I didn't realize how powerful and how needed a father is to a son (I guess I never thought about it since I'm a girl) but this chapter 5 by Dr. Dobson drove home the fatherneed each boy has...

"Dr. William Pollock, a Harvard psychologist and author of Real Boys concludes that divorce is difficult for children of both sexes but it is devastating for males.  He says the basic  problem is the lack of discipline and supervision in the father's absence and his unavailability to teach what it means to be a man.  He believes fathers are crucial in helping boys manage their emotions.  Without guidance and discretion of a father, a boy's frustrations often leads to violence or antisocial behavior."

When boys are asked who their hero is, many will say, "My dad."  "On the other hand, when a father is uninvolved, when he doesn't love or care for his kids, it creates an ache, a longing, that will linger for decades...

Thank you to all the dads out there who are involved, love their kids, care for them, provide for them and pour and invest in them daily, and to those of us moms who have husbands like that let us remember to say "thank you" and to be reminded of how lucky we are to have them in our life.


1 comment:

  1. Great words about Dads, Kristi. I always say that even though my Dad died way too early, I was so blessed to have had him for the 33 years that I did. He was just so incredibly special to me and he is with me every day, even still. He taught me so much. A special Dad like that lives on in the lives of his children for all of their lives and then in the lives of the grandchildren. My husband is the same kind of Dad my Dad was...always looking out for his "kids" even though they are grown. Your children will always be "your children."


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