When it comes to openly loving and caring for their children, fathers are no longer the helpless and hopelessly befuddled fathers of the old days. When we consider that the role of fathers during the last two centuries was commonly limited to the traditional roles of breadwinner, disciplinarian, and conveyor of moral and religious values, we can appreciate that the role of father’s in today’s household is dramatically different from prior generations.
Previously, fathers were not expected to be nurturing, caring, nor openly loving to their children. In fact, they were expected to be patriarchal and stern. In those years, it was primarily the mother’s role to remain in the home and care for the children. The father, on the other hand, was expected to have periodic, and often long, absences from the home in order to provide for the family. Societal expectations of fathers and their parental roles, at that time, simply did not include being actively involved in their children’s everyday lives.
Today, we are seeing a transition from the traditionally stern patriarch father to a more nurturing and loving father. For instance, it is much more common today to hear children address their fathers by their first names than the formal parental term, ‘Father.’ The formal term, which connotes stern authority, has given way to less formal, more affectionate types of address such as “Pop,” “Dad” or simply their given names — Bill, Jim, Carlos, or Juan, to name a few.
Today fathers are much more involved in raising, nurturing and caring for their children. Recently published national research shows the important role that fathers play in the development of children; the influence of fatherly love on children’s development is as powerful an influence as a mother’s love. Fatherly love helps children develop their sense of place in the world, which helps their social, emotional and cognitive development and functioning. Likewise, children who receive more love from their fathers are less likely to struggle later in life with behavioral or substance abuse problems.
Raising children is a tough job that requires the loving involvement of both parents. Society must embrace, foster, and promote collaborative parental engagement; and intentionally support and encourage fathers, from all walks of life, to embrace, and excel in, the rewarding experience of openly loving and nurturing their children. One of my greatest joys has been raising my daughter and seeing her grow into a wonderful, intelligent woman who cares about, and contributes to, her community. On Father's Day, she will jokingly call me "old school" and share her love unconditionally.
# # #
DTA Cultural Partnership Goes Beyond Providing Benefits by Providing Experiences posted on May 13
Did you know anyone in Massachusetts with an EBT card can get reduced or free admission into more than 10 museums across the Commonwealth? The MA Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) partners with educational and cultural institutions statewide granting access to some of the state’s …Continue Reading DTA Cultural Partnership Goes Beyond Providing Benefits by Providing Experiences
MCB’s Mitch Sanborn wins Paul McDade “FOCUS” Award for Distinguished Leadership posted on May 11
During my brief time serving as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission of the Blind (MCB), I have had the pleasure to present numerous awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the blindness community. Last month, I was asked to make another …Continue Reading MCB’s Mitch Sanborn wins Paul McDade “FOCUS” Award for Distinguished Leadership
Mental Health Awareness Month – DMH Hosts Events Including 22nd Annual Express Yourself Performance posted on May 9
In honor of national Mental Health Awareness Month, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) will host and participate in several events that follow the national theme: Life with a Mental Illness. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five Americans will …Continue Reading Mental Health Awareness Month – DMH Hosts Events Including 22nd Annual Express Yourself Performance