Happy Mother’s Day, Dad!

Sounds strange! Right? This of course, is a girl whose mother passed away when she was 9 and her father brought her up, all alone; today she is 24 and is going to finish medical graduation; father’s involvement in bringing up a child cannot be stressed more, especially in today’s era of nuclear families. Fathers have to shake off their role as a visiting faculty/ consultant parent/ periodic auditor of care given /a financier or ‘I will give quality time whenever I can’ and get involved before it is too late.

Dr Chander Asrani

It is time; fathers strive hard to find the necessary time and get involved in bringing up children and not merely to provide the funds and an occasional hug or pat! ‘Wow! That is my angel!’ They must take it as ‘task’ to be accomplished; a daily item on their ‘To-do-list’.

Father is supposed to be a vital factor in the child’s development, but more often, is not. Even in Double Income families (i.e. both parents working) mothers spend more time with the child and shoulder more responsibilities than the father; Not many fathers, of course realize/accept this. Fathers keep postponing spending time with their kids under the pretext that on a holiday they would go out or for a picnic and have REAL fun. What they don’t realize is that child needs it THEN and not whenever. For the child the quantum of time matters more than the ambience they spend it in.

Research has conclusively proven that ‘Children With Father In Family Have A Head-Start In Life’; of course this applies more to single parent (mom) families but goes on to suggest that young children who spend decent time with their father are better learners, have higher self-esteem than others who only get the so called Quality Time from their dads.

A study published in Britain clearly shows that “a father’s presence and involvement benefits the child”. It goes on to add, “Now, we need to find ways to encourage the positive and supportive roles of fathers in the lives of their children. Kids definitely benefit from having a man around and they especially benefit if the man is loving and supportive”.

Child needs a Role Model and who better than Father? The million-dollar question is how to convince them how important it is and why they must do it?

It has to done in the spirit of equal partnership and not merely out of compassion (Oh! I will help you out’ syndrome/ a gesture of generosity or as a special favor&that too returnable). A father must consider care of the child as vital as his job or career. He must contribute to all the facets of home and childcare, more so when the spouse too is holding a full time job.

Father’s sharing in childcare has its own advantages. Firstly, it lightens the pressure on the mother. Secondly it provides her badly needed companionship, especially in a nuclear family with no support from elders. Thirdly, child gets love from both and grows up without any kind of sexist bias.In addition, he also gives his wife a sort of mental satisfaction and contentment. The knowledge that her husband realizes bringing up the child is the responsibility of both parents and that sharing (of every aspect of life) is very important for both of them, gives her immense satisfaction.

Parenting tips for Dad

It also provides a sense of balance. Men and women complement each other – men teach children to be fearless, while women teach them about the dangers. Man might encourage a child to go to the top of the tree, while the women would warn them to be careful not to fall off. The true Yin & Yang team!

Father’s involvement adds up to the security and development of the child. It is also seen that fathers are young children’s preferred playmates, not just for boys but for girls as well. Very important in the perspective of parenting.

But, beware! Avoid being

Authoritarian Father: If the father ever tries to be authoritarian, asserting himself ruthlessly over wife and the child, it is bound to prove counterproductive. It may backfire, inviting troubles in as much as that the child becomes either inhibited or rebellious.

Weak Father: It must also be noted that a father, who is far too shy and submissive to be a role model is just the opposite of the so-called “authoritarian father”. This situation too causes anxiety, insecurity and several adjustment and behavioral problems, in an unstable child.

And now in true social media style – share it with all fathers you know and all mothers who will agree and show it to the ‘consultant’ in the family 🙂

Dr Chander Asrani, is a post-graduate in Family Medicine. He has over 36 years in family practice and has witnessed several kids going awry because father was just a shadow in their life. He writes on various subjects of wellness; learning to live with chronic ailments and stress. Know more about him at about.me/drasrani.

8 Responses

  1. Joanne
    Joanne May 17, 2014 at 8:48 pm | | Reply

    This is brilliant. I am a single mom and I would love if my daughter wishes me Happy Father’s day Mom!

    1. Dr Chander Asrani
      Dr Chander Asrani May 17, 2014 at 8:50 pm | | Reply

      Thanks, Joanne

  2. Dr Mitali Kochar
    Dr Mitali Kochar May 18, 2014 at 4:11 pm | | Reply

    Worth sharing!!

    1. Dr Chander Asrani
      Dr Chander Asrani May 19, 2014 at 3:42 am | | Reply

      Thanks, Mitali
      It’s a true story.
      Thanks for sharing

  3. Priya
    Priya May 19, 2014 at 7:47 am | | Reply

    Kudos to you for writing on this topic! This touched a chord indeed! I’ve experienced challenges of both lifestyles – I’ve been a stay at home mom and a working mom but regardless of the lifestyle, I’ve found myself stretched thin multitasking to the point of complete burnout. My husband had a very Indian upbringing, where men are not expected to share responsibility of household chores. It took a while for my husband to realize that he needed to take more responsibility as a father and more importantly as a husband. As years have passed, I’ve seen my husband grow as a father and as a husband. I now feel confident that my husband and I, are a strong team raising two happy kids who love and cherish the quality time they spend with both parents each day. Living in a nuclear family with no support from other family members at all, it sure does take two to raise children to be happy and healthy adults.

    1. Dr Chander Asrani
      Dr Chander Asrani May 19, 2014 at 1:58 pm | | Reply

      Thanks, Priya
      I understand the ‘plight’ of parents of Indian origin in the western world! Tough to get rid of the ‘Consultant’ tag.

      It is nice to know that you all now live as a well oiled machine – each part doing it’s job with precision. Your kids are fortunate to have such caring parents.

  4. Hitesh
    Hitesh May 21, 2014 at 7:46 pm | | Reply

    This is a eye opener!
    It is indeed very easy to fall into the role of being “a visiting faculty/ consultant parent/ periodic auditor of care given /a financier” as you so rightly put it.
    I will now be more aware of the time & efforts that I deploy to truly enhance our parenting.
    Thanks a ton!!
    Keep up the great work

    1. Dr Chander Asrani
      Dr Chander Asrani May 23, 2014 at 4:41 pm | | Reply

      Thanks Hitesh for letting me motivate you to introspect. I am sure you family will thank me! 🙂

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