Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our Heroes: Dads,Stepdads, and Granddads

Good,honorable,solid men make such a difference in our lives if they play their role right.We all need men in our lives who are honest,kind,and count-on-able.Sometimes that role can't be played by your father,and another wonderful man steps in,like your stepdad or grandfather.This can be very healing. Fathering is not the one-time event of biology,but the on-going act of fathering and loving a child as they grow and struggle in life,knowing they can count on you for support,wisdom,and love.

Mothers are very important,but they aren't like fathers. While mothers give birth to children,and help them attach and be nurtured, it is fathers who play a critical role in helping a young person move out into the world,become brave,take risks,and develop courage.The Yale Fatherhood study demonstrated that even at a young age at playgrounds,fathers push children higher on swings and stand a bit further away,giving children a little more room to be independent.Fathers and mothers are not interchangeable.Children who grow up with a functional mother and father have a great advantage.

It's also very possible,if a father abandons a child or dies early,that another loving man can fill the gap. I am always amazed at what miracles stepfathers and grandfathers can activate if they bring an open heart,time,and care to the intentional task of being there for a young person whose father couldn't play the role. Much emotional repair and healing can be done by another man choosing to transcend self and care.

Fathers,stepfathers,and grandfathers are also role models for relationships and living with integrity and honesty. How you treat your wife,how you parent,how you live your life sets an unspoken standard.It earns you respect and admiration. The young people in your life are likely to use how you treat others as a template for their own lives.What a huge responsibility and an awesome challenge for your own personal growth.

Today,we honor not just fathers,but stepfathers,grandfathers,uncles,and all the good men who reach out in the effort to help us raise the next generation to be as whole,strong,and courageous as they can be.Thanks to each of you.We women know who you are,and we appreciate you more than you can can know.

No comments:

Post a Comment