While the rest of the world ponders the importance, the role and even the fate of men today, it is more crucial than ever for us Dads to live up to the ultimate male-privilege: Fatherhood. And what you may never realize is the depth of impact you can have.
In spite of the bad press we have been receiving recently, the verdict is in — fathers are perhaps the most important, significant and determinant variable in the life of your children. Kids who grow up with caring fathers in the home have the largest advantage — the largest privilege — that can be bestowed on any person. Children with present, involved fathers do better in school, less likely to get into legal trouble, are more emotionally stable, and even enjoy life more & have a better sense of humor – the list goes on and on (references below).
And while statistics and studies tell an important story – nothing can touch our soul like the heartfelt expression of a daughter to her own father. In the torrents of tweets that fill my feed, I was privileged to catch this thread:
It truly is a tragedy to witness how much our society has denigrated fathers and fatherhood.
My dad is my best friend and I am so blessed to be his daughter.
— Stefanie MacWilliams (@StefMacWilliams) March 19, 2018
Stefanie continues (TRIGGER WARNING: You may want some tissues):
My dad is an amazing dad for so many reasons. He loves me. He teaches me with so much wisdom. He always believes in me and wants me to achieve what I set out to strive for. All the normal great stuff about a dad.
Over the past couple of years, culminating in the past month or so, I’ve come to realize that his greatest strengths are ones I didn’t appreciate as much. Or, in some cases, felt annoyed by.
My dad is the head of our household. The thing is, he acts like it, even when the rest of our household (including me in the past) thinks such an idea is sexist and ridiculous.
My dad is a constant presence. A constant pillar of faith, hard work, provision, protection, and love. It is my dad who holds together the chaos whenever our family finds itself in tumult.
It is my dad who always forgives, who is always there to help us, even when we’ve totally spat on his kindness even an hour before.
Because that’s what a great father is. A constant. Strength that is not always obvious, but strength that can be quiet and patient and wait. Strength that can endure ridicule even from those it seeks to protect from any harm or pain.
Did I ever thank him for this? Did my sisters? Did my mom? Probably not. But he never required thanks. He just did it. And I just took that moment of comfort, not understanding that it represented him as my dad: the constant head of our home.
The responses were fast a furious:
Was the third anniversary of my dad’s death on Sunday just gone. There are not enough words to say how much I miss him pic.twitter.com/WdNAhgYjBd
— Julie Martin (@jools6691) March 20, 2018
And another from a proud father & husband:
I am the father of both a son & a daughter.
I feel I am blessed to carry the burden of being responsible for these lives for the rest of my days.
The same with my wife, I’m proud to lead my family & while it’s a thankless job, watching them grow is all I need.
Great thread. https://t.co/fe8UM5ngWc
— Hunter Drew (@TheFamilyAlpha) March 19, 2018
As a father myself, I’d like to live-up to having the impact this man has on his daughter. And that’s the point — there is no string in my heart more vulnerable than the expression of appreciation and respect bestowed upon me by my wife and children. There is no greater motivating force, no more powerful lever of inspiration. As my mentor explained to me years ago:
A man does not need to earn the respect of his wife. He needs to live up to the respect she already has for him.”
Women who understand this, women who lean-in to this, not only have the keys to their own castle — but have the keys to his as well.
We are just turning the corner from the Jewish holiday of Purim, and approaching Passover. And while much is known about the all-star male casts of Mordechai, Moses & Aharon, it is deeply understood that the women–Esther, Yocheved, Miriam — are raison-ad’être for the victories. Not only were they granted divine wisdom to know what needed to be done, but they had the wisdom to use their feminine gifts to make it happen.
In a climate where “The Patriarchy” is on trial, let us not forget that as men, we need to be Fathers regardless of the verdict. And as a message to the women in our lives — the verdict was delivered thousands of years ago already — a kind, positive word moves the entire world in the right direction.
The easiest way to research the importance of Fathers in the home is by conducting a simple Google search – The impact of Fathers in the home
For a more researched article, see a 2003 CLASP article by Mary Parke
For something more up to date, check out the 2014 article done by the Institute for Family Studies, titled: How Dads Affect Their Daughters into Adulthood
Finally, for something a little more light hearted, check out the Bustle.com article on the Influence of Mothers & Fathers