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Celebrate Fathers on Fathers Day

June 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 169

Men often give themselves a hard time. They often expect themselves to be strong, masterful providers, to work long hours, be successful in their careers, whilst at the same time being loving, sensitive partners and fathers, keen and enthusiastic about sharing and spending time with their families. Let's take some time this weekend to stop and celebrate fathers on Fathers Day.

For many of us there are different father figures in our lives apart from the father who gave us our genetic makeup; step fathers, grandfathers, fathers-in-law, as well as other key male role models can play a significant part in influencing our opinion of men and our expectations from male relationships in the future. School teachers, neighbours, the fathers of friends all have the potential to affect the way in which we develop and grow and influence our life choices.

Our biological father is for many of us, the most important man in our life, but in some cases he may be cynically regarded as a sperm donor and nothing more. There may be other, far more significant loving, caring and influential male role models in our lives.

A real father provides his family with a feeling of safety and security. He usually earns money with which to support the family, but is also increasingly involved with childcare and parenting duties. Many men are keen to care for their children, play with them and be involved in their lives. The days of the hardly present father, a somewhat stern, distant, disciplinarian figure are thankfully waning. Many men want to be hands on fathers, playing and being involved, getting to know their children and having a good relationship with them as they develop and grow.

Grandfathers play an increasingly important part in many children's lives. With the high incidence of divorce many single parents rely heavily on the support of friends and family to help with childcare. A loving grandfather can be an important male role model in a young child's formative years, providing love, guidance and advice as well as a constant source of stability. Having a caring, wise male family member readily available can be a source of comfort for a child. They can trust their secrets, discuss problems and share their worries with a grandfather, things they may not wish to discuss with a parent.

Often a grandfather can provide time for his grandchildren, time that perhaps he was unable to provide for his own children when they were growing up. It is not uncommon for people to say that their father was a dreadful parent but is an amazing, sensitive and caring grandparent. Often a grandfather can see the mistakes he made with his own children and feel privileged at having the opportunity to do a better job and make amends with his grandchildren.

Step fathers form an increasingly important part of many family structures, some families featuring a few father figures over time. Losing the relationship with one's father and then having to cope with the implications of his departure is devastating particularly if he had a close connection with the children. Tact and sensitivity is required during the transition from both parents, as children need consistency, routine and to feel safe and secure. If a new step father is then to be introduced, taking time to establish the new relationship is important.

Many other role models bring invaluable inspiration and support into a child's life. An impressive school teacher, foster parent, neighbour can teach so much simply by their attitude, behaviour, demeanour. A simple word or gesture can provide a lasting impression on a developing child. Even role models from literature, film and television can influence how we as children define men and their role in our life and society.

And sometimes we learn from the bad examples too, how we don't want to be, the negative patterns we are determined not to replicate in our later life with our own children. All these are thoughts we can bring to mind as we celebrate fathers on Fathers Day.

Susan Leigh is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who works with stressed individuals to promote confidence and self belief, with couples in crisis to improve communications and understanding and with business clients to support the health and motivation levels of individuals and teams.

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