From an Ordinary Man to be a Dad

Jun 18, 2020

We all want to be the best parents we could be for our children. But there is often conflicting advice on how to raise a kid who is confident, kind and successful. Some dads are very much involved in the lives of their children, while others neglect, ignore or even abuse their kids. That is a fact.

In our society, mothers still have the most power and influence when it comes to raising children. Many fathers may be more vulnerable to criticism than mothers because there is still less support in our society for fathers as actively involved parents. There still is an assumption in our society that mothers are the primary caregivers and that they have the power to determine the involvement of others in childcare.

Women have a greater biological role in childbearing than men. A mother’s nurturing relationship with her children may be rooted in biological conditions like pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Societal pressures of motherhood for women are more than the fatherhood for parenting. Women are still primary caregivers. However, it is now well established in literature that both women and men can be good parents and most parenting skills are ‘LEARNED’ by ‘DOING’. But it is a known fact that parenthood is more salient for women’s identity than for men’s and women are more likely to feel an obligation or duty to engage in parenting than men. They spend on average more time on parenting than fathers.

Societal changes have affected family life over the past decades. Especially rising divorce rates and mother’s participation in the labour force have stimulated the mothers and fathers to reorganize their family life, with fathers taking a more prominent role in parenting. Nowadays in the urban environment where both parents are working, fathers tend to play a more active role in the parenting of their children. Research (Crouter and McHale 2005) says that working mothers may spend more time with their children before school and on off workdays than non-working mothers.

With all these differences, it has been proved scientifically that fathers play a significant role in the social, emotional and behavioural development of children. Fathers influence children’s social and emotional development. Traditionally, parenting research and practice ignored fathers, neither considering their influence on child development nor controlling their influence when looking at the influence of mothers. Father comes next, as the mother is a ‘primary’ caregiver. He is ‘secondary’ in taking care of children. But a father’s influence on child development is equally important and significant as a mother’s. This significant role is ignored very often because of the time they spend with their children when compared to mothers. However, science says it is not the relative amount of time but that the quality of the interaction which influences the child’s mind. Fathers do invest both emotionally and financially, in their children’s lives. It is believed that children with more educated fathers tend to do better in school tests. Fathers who talk more to their children have children with higher vocabularies. The children of supportive fathers who engage with them in various activities, including play, are more likely to have more positive friendships and are more able to control their emotions.

It is not about criticizing the parenting skills of fathers. Both parents need to keep communication open and not be so quick to criticize. If fathers are even going to be regarded as equal partners in family life, they need the same support the mothers get. It is all about giving fathers space to parent.



By Vinet D'Souza
Vinet D’Souza resides in Manipal and works as a lecturer at St Cecily's PU College, Udupi. A lecturer by profession and writer by passion, her articles have been published in Daijiworld Weekly and other magazines.
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Comment on this article

  • Clevin Leon Miranda, Mangalore

    Mon, Jun 22 2020

    Well done Vinu.... It's fantastic articles on father n mother... But actually I love my mom more then dad.. that means I don't hate my dad.. I love him.. but also more then him I love my mom... Cuz we r youth guys... Watever we do wrong things dad wil hate it n shouts on us.. but mom wil sit and explain goodly by putting her tears out.. so by seeing her tears we will stop doing mistakes... But any ways.. I felt good by reading ur article.... Nice. God bless u.. and go ahead with new articles, all the best.. and even thank u so much for pinging me for ur new article dear...😊😇

  • Alphons Dsouza, Canada

    Mon, Jun 22 2020

    Well done Vinet... You have written it well and with intact message.. well done and keep writing on good subjects like this coz you are a teacher and you come across a lot of things about good and bad parenting... good job..

  • Clive D'Souza, Kuwait

    Sun, Jun 21 2020

    Nice Article sis.. ❤️

  • Anil Mendonca, Kunthalnagar / IC Colony Mumbai

    Sun, Jun 21 2020

    Beautiful article on Father’s Day. Father plays very significant role in parenting . You have pen down the importance of Father in life cycle of parenting.
    Thank You
    Good article
    Keep writing ✍️

  • Ashok Thonse, Kallianpur/Dubai

    Sun, Jun 21 2020

    Nice article.

  • Boniface D'Souza, Moodubelle/Bangalore

    Sun, Jun 21 2020

    Excellent write on Fathers Day. Both have to carry out their respective roles in bringing up their children. Keep on writing on various issues concerning our society. Wish you all the best.

  • Ivan Menezes, Moodubelle

    Sun, Jun 21 2020

    Excellent Vinet. Nice article, Keep writing.

  • Gilbert Menezes, Moodubelle / Melbourne

    Sat, Jun 20 2020

    Thank you Vinet for calling Fathers to step up into responsible parenting! Perhaps we live in the first or second generation nucleus family structure, unlike undivided families in which grandparents, uncles, and aunts were all had some influence on the children as they grew up! Therefore in today's world, it is very important for both parents to be in communication with their children all the time and to guide them with the identical thought process with the teachings of spirituality, trust, morality, patience, and truthfulness as they go out in the current challenging world where only success is celebrated and failure is disowned leading to depressions and suicides!

  • Dr.Anand & Geeta Pereira, Sakleshpur/Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 19 2020

    Vinet, Liked your thought-provoking article. Yes, both Parents have equal roles to play in the upbringing of children. In our opinion, any Parent can have children, but very few Parents, have Parenting Skills in today's changing environment. Time, Parents, updated themselves, with the ground reality. Correct us, if we are wrong.

  • Vincent D'sa, Manipal

    Fri, Jun 19 2020

    Good article. I have witnessed in many families mother takes leading role in spite of being not exposed to competitive work environment and quality exposure. Hence they are not quality decision makers in certain domains of life not because they are not capable, but due to lack of exposure. This is one of the reasons why our children are wanted to be recognized in the group when going for professional courses rather selecting job oriented specific studies. Most of the times fathers are mute spectators to avoid conflict.

  • Seelox, Dubai

    Thu, Jun 18 2020

    Good article.

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