almost any man can father a child, there is so much more to the important role of being dad in a child's life. Let's look at who father is, and why he is so important. Fathers are central to the emotional well-being of their children; they are are capable caretakers and disciplinarians.
Studies show that if your child's father is affectionate, supportive, and involved, he can contribute greatly to your child's cognitive, language, and social development, as well as academic achievement, a strong inner core resource, sense of well-being, good self-esteem, and authenticity.
Your child's primary relationship with his/her father can affect all of your child's relationships from birth to death, including those with friends, lovers, and spouses. Those early patterns of interaction with father are the very patterns that will be projected forward into all relationships...forever more: not only your child's intrinsic idea of who he/she is as he/she relates to others, but also, the range of what your child considers acceptable and loving.
Girls will look for men who hold the patterns of good old dad, for after all, they know how "to do that." Therefore, if father was kind, loving, and gentle, they will reach for those characteristics in men. Girls will look for, in others, what they have experienced and become familiar with in childhood. Because they've gotten used to those familial and historic behavioral patterns, they think that they can handle them in relationships.
Boys on the other hand, will model themselves after their fathers. They will look for their father's approval in everything they do, and copy those behaviors that they recognize as both successful and familiar. Thus, if dad was abusive, controlling, and dominating, those will be the patterns that their sons will imitate and emulate. However, if father is loving, kind, supportive, and protective, boys will want to be that.
Human beings are social animals and we learn by modeling behavior. In fact, all primates learn how to survive and function successfully in the world through social imitation. Those early patterns of interaction are all children know, and it is those patterns that effect how they feel about themselves, and how they develop. Your child is vulnerable to those early patterns and incorporates those behavioral qualities in his/her repertoire of social exchange.
It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of dad. For example, girls who have good relationships with their fathers tend to do better in math, and boys who have actively involved fathers tend to have better grades and perform better on achievement tests. And well-bonded boys develop securely with a stable and sustained sense of self. Who we are and who we are to be, we are becoming, and fathers are central to that outcome.
The fathers have eaten a sour grape and the children's teeth are set on edge" (Jeremiah, Book 31, Verse 29) This quote from the Bible represented the power of the father as the primary authority of the family for many centuries. His word was unquestioned, his decision final, his influence dominant in all matters relating to family. What he was not seen as was a caretaker of the children - that rested with (or was vested in) the mother, or mother substitute.
The world began to radically change with the social, economic and technical changes of the 21st Century and, with those changes, came a basic change in the structure and function of the family with a consequent shift in the authority of the father. His influence was increasingly seen as minor, even negligible, and his importance was defined by how well he provided for the family.
Another factor in the diminished role of the father was the then new field of psychology. In fact, psychology became part of the problem. Research studies did not place much importance on the role of the father, and his influence on the development and growth of his child was reported as "insignificant". Parent was often the same as mother and father, if mentioned, was equivalent to other influences. Only a small number of parent-child studies investigated the father's role, and the few studies that were done at that time focused on the father's involvement as reported by the mother.
The main plus of having children in my opinion is that they bring sense to their parents' lives. Almost each of us dealt with this feeling when he does not understand what he lives for. And if you are a parent, such question does not come to your mind at all, because there is a little creature who loves you unconditionally just the way you are and you are responsible for him or her, you cannot leave your child.
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