Imagine you came to a traffic light that flickered red-orange-green-red-orange-green. You’d probably be confused (Should I go or stop!?), and possibly anxious (What if I crash? I may be stuck here forever!). 

The same process is likely to happen to our children if they receive mixed signals from their primary caretakers. Just like the faulty robot in the example leaves it up to you to decide when it’s safe to go, your child will also need to figure it out on her own. And “crashing” may be the result. 

All of us hate red lights (Just my luck!), but there’s nothing like the stress caused by a broken robot to make us appreciate a light turning red when it needs to. There’s safety in this mechanism. Likewise, there’s protection in receiving clear-cut messages at home – even if it’s “no!”

There is an old saying that “one father is worth more than a hundred school masters” which in a few words encapsulates the value of a male figure in the upbringing of children. Loving fathers who are fully involved in their children’s upbringing and show affection and support from day one, are intrinsically valuable to not only their marriage relationship and their family – but also to their children’s future.

The first step in being a good father is simply showing up. – Unknown.

Children like to feel that you are there, not just in body. Engage in conversation, have some fun, share in their highs and lows of the day. If it feels awkward, ask their mother what they are interested in or what they enjoy doing and begin there.

If you have a special television programme you would like to watch or need to catch up on computer time, then fill their love tanks and give them quality time before you start. One man related this story;

There are no great men, only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet.” William F. Halsey

It has become more and more common for mom’s to take on the mother and father role. Besides the high divorce rate, fathers are often away as it is sometimes more financially beneficial to do so, than to be working from home. Sometimes even the moms have to travel too.

Dads play such a significant role in the family unit, even though sometimes it feels like the family would do just fine without him – as long as they have his credit card!

It is not an easy task to be a father; juggling work pressures, financial stress, being a good husband and a role model for your children. It is quite ironic that just as a father is climbing the corporate ladder, his children are reaching adolescence and maybe his wife, menopause! No wonder there is chaos in the home.

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