What is fatherhood?
Fatherhood – is the highest level of man’s personal development. There is a large difference in manifestation of parental feelings in animals and humans.
If, for example, a cat or a dog born a cub, they immediately will lick, caress and warm it. Animals do it instinctively. And human parental feelings are not formed this way. Fatherhood and parenthood in the humans’ world – is not a manifestation of self-activating instincts, but the result of human development.
You are able to be a father if mature enough
The mother and father statuses are very high, so the achievement of those requires great inner spiritual work. While carrying out psychological counseling, some men admit that they were able to feel like fathers only when the third child was born. It’s very hard to acquire paternal feelings for many modern men. They work hard, come home late, they are always busy with other important things. Fathers hardly see their children, and that’s’ why father’s feelings manifest very late. Personal growth takes place only with the help of universe. Unfortunately, many men don’t bother thinking about their role, even married often forget to be partners with their wives.
As regards in the acquisition of parental feelings, a woman has some advantages: she carries a child in her womb during a nine months period, and then she gives birth to the child, collecting all her inner spiritual strength for delivery.
Therefore, childbirth for a woman – is a special sacred act, which changes her mind and consciousness. The mother applies the baby to the breast, and already has tender feelings for the baby, deep inner connection with a child. At first, she was connected with the baby by the umbilical cord, and now a psychological connection is developing. Studies of child psychologists show that the relationship between mother and child is the starting point of his future mental and personality development. The child feels his mother, and the mother feels the child. “Mother and child” – is a living union, in the early stages of baby’s life, it is even a symbiosis. Then, of course, this symbiosis has to be destroyed to give the child the possibility to grow and live an independent life.
The child-father symbiosis
For the father there’s no such symbiosis due to the natural reasons. The main reason is that there is no direct physical connection and relation between the life of man and the newborn. Consequently, a man can only observe this situation from the outside, may be feasible to participate in it, helping his wife in child’s care.
Nowadays, however, there are some positive developments in this area… I note that they are only observed among certain segments of the population. I’m talking about men who love their wives, are educated sufficiently and developed culturally, secured enough and don’t have harmful habits. These men consciously seek to acquire a parenthood, read books, are interested in special spiritual, psychological and medical literature and are close with their wives in the preparation for childbirth. They receive special training, attend classes, learn with their wives how to behave properly during childbirth, etc. Some men are specifically looking for a hospital, where they can take part in childbirth and may be close to their wives and the newborn in the first days of baby’s life. Such hospitals exist now, unlike 100 years ago, when childbirth was considered a “women business”, but it assumes certain financial expenses. My brother, for example, was a birth partner for his wife when she was giving birth, and even cut the umbilical cord. And now I see that he is actually very attached to the child.
Father’s role at preparation for the birth
When the father picks up the helpless infant, who can’t even hold the head, it is very important for the formation of paternal affection. The older the child becomes (no matter, if it’s a boy or a girl), the greater need appears for a male influence. Therefore, a loving father will always find ways to participate in the child’s life. After all, father gives the child a sense of security, the child feels that he can count on the father’s support. Father teaches the child, teaches him something that is still unknown for child. Father is engaged in child’s physical development, because (especially if it’s a boy) father should play football, hockey, and go skiing with the child. It is necessary to teach him do handicrafts or at least to hammer a nail into a wall. All this is possible when the father really lives the life of a family, not just earning money or plays a ghost role of a family member.
It’s easy enough for man to find a place for the manifestation of his paternity. A household life itself involves certain male contribution. And if a man understands it and helps his wife, takes some complicated tasks that require physical strength or resoluteness, it is very easy to lead a child who will learn courageous behavior imitating his father.
But when the father is pulled of the family by his professional activities, when he returns home late at evening, his possibilities reduce and become limited. And even when the weekends come, many men do not feel any desire to go for a walk, ride, run or play with a child.
There must be a certain inner psychological work to make the man understand his father’s tasks. After returning from work, a man has a new sphere of creative work, which takes place in the family. This work has a spiritual, moral, educational nature.
Because of her inherent characteristics, a woman is just glad that the child was born, that he is here and needs her care. She feels joy of her motherhood; at hugging a helpless, fragile creature, to whom she could give herself constantly. Her parental love is undemanding, comprehensive, and sacrificial. But men’s parental feelings are manifested in a different way.
Father at home
After all, a father is not only a symbol of the protection and patronage, he is not just a earner of material goods. He is also a carrier of social and life experience, father encourages the child to seek solutions of set vital challenges. Father puts priority objectives, defines principles of life, it means, he represents a global approach of the family’s organization and social life. But for that a man must have a holistic worldview, stable notions about good and bad, about the nature of human life and its basic values. A real man must have spiritual and moral backbone that provides his actions with focused, solid, strong-willed and have logical character. At the same time, the presence of hardness of the will shouldn’t show up into rigidity and brutality toward relatives, his wife and children. In contrast, the ability to comply firmly the developed principles of life must be combined with educational talent of wise and patient child’s nurturing as a complete person. A real man – is always a real father, a mentor, a teacher in life, leading the child to overcome his fears, failures and painful complexes. He can teach a child to stand firmly on his feet and not to bend under the weight of life’s hardships!
Fatherhood is about bringing up a child by own example
After all, the person – is not just a biological organism, one must inter into the society, to be positioned correctly, to choose a profession he like, and to determine his path of life. A person must be motivated to certain social advances, to achieve a certain quality of life. All of this is solved through the father. The older the child becomes, the greater his father’s influence becomes.
If the father lives a meaningful life being a creative person, it’s not difficult for him to transfer his outlook to the child. The apostle Paul wrote: “The husband is the head for the wife, and Christ – for the husband.” Which means that the fatherhood is about bringing the whole idea of the outlook, based on the main principles of human relationship. But if there’s no “right” outlook, the child often inherits the bad behavior from his father, the tendency to shirk from responsibility, the habit of lying on the couch, watching TV bluntly, playing computer games. If the father does all these things, the child also begins to do the same.
There’s a line in the Gospel where Christ says, “The Son can’t do if he hasn’t seen the Father doing.” The son can’t become a creative person, if he has nowhere to learn the experience of creativity. So first of all, a real man must have a personality. He must live an idle, content, creative life, must have a serious spiritual and moral principles, a clear vector of life, certain aspirations, creative orientation. And when the man has all such qualities in his personality, children acquire all of them very quickly imitating their fathers.
So, from my point of view, masculinity – is, first and foremost, characteristic of the person. It is not just the existence of physical strength, excellent health condition or high sexual activity. I want to emphasize that there is an absolutely different view in modern society: “Man – is the one who has strong biceps, good core, who is able to drink a lot of beer or vodka and not get drunk, who has broken the hearts of many beautiful women.” Advertisements and mass media impose us the image of a “male man”. But the true masculinity – is the maturity of the human personality.
– Some men feel defective, inferior, if they have no children, there is no continuation of a genus. What to do?
– I note that many of them feel inferior even having a child. It happens because they don’t know what to do with the child. After all, if the man does not do anything by himself, doesn’t glue, whittle, nag, work on the land, but only watches TV stupidly or plays computer games, he can’t teach his children anything as a father. Thus the fatherhood for him will be a challenge.
I know men, who have reached a high level of personal development and have demands to themselves as to people, who interact with people but live a lonely life. These men often become an authority for the children, whose fathers have never succeeded in their roles and would prefer to give this role away to the friend of the family. Thus, being a father, doesn’t always mean to share the genes with the child, but share the outlook and provide spiritual patronage to those in need. These men become perfect step-fathers, may willingly adopt children and provide a foster care. I’d say, that a person of the full value may share, what he has. Those incomplete fathers by occasion may take something away rather than give, become the energy-consumer.
What does the baby see, looking at you?
The greatest work that some men make in their fatherhood – is clicking the buttons, switching channels. Everything is on the remote, our life become simpler. We are completely detached from land; we live in big cities, where machinery and modern digital technology rule… Many types of physical labor have disappeared: migrant workers come to repair the apartment, the crane broke – call a plumber, something went wrong – the professional comes. One call – and all problems are solved, nothing to do. But our parents, who came from the villages, went through war – they are able to do everything by themselves.
My dad, for example, repaired shoes for all family members. We had no idea what does a repair of footwear mean. Also, he took care of his military form: stitched collar, stroked pants; he repaired the apartment, drilled and hollowed. And when he was engaged in repairing or some other work, we have all been complicit in his qualitative and beautiful work. We all admired his skills, because he could do everything by his own hands.
Now men don’t have to do all these things. The development of technique and technology leads to the fact that the man is no longer perceived as the head of the family, as a leader, an organizer. Now a real man has to prove himself in family life using the liberated time in different ways. But the man who has no stable moral principles can’t demonstrate anything in fatherhood, can’t give any example to his child, he has nothing to share with the child. Father can bring a son to the garage, where he repairs a car. It’s very interesting for boys to be there, they serve instruments, delve into the car… But it is possible only if the father is doing something with his hands. Any kind of men hobby will do a better work than hours of speaking about “men business”.
– Is it true, that if a man doesn’t become a mature person, he considers the child as a tool for his self-affirmation as a “father”? The child becomes an easy way to help him feel like a real man for him, doesn’t it?
– Sure. When a child is born, there is someone who can be commanded, over whom one can rule, with respect to whom one can demonstrate his physical strength. And often a man, who can‘t dominate over his wife, starts abusing the child. He finds the object on which he can throw out his annoyance, his anger, who can be blamed for everything.
Many men punish their children rather harshly, despotically: beat them with a belt, pull by the ears, and give cuffs… And that affect seriously the psyche of the child and his mental health. Such a failed man equates fatherhood to ill-treatment.
A man, of course, should be strict. But rigor – is not cruelty, not aggression. However, many people advise: “It is necessary to make the child being afraid of you.” And women also believe that if a child is afraid of his father – it’s good and the fatherhood task is complete. But the child is afraid, because his father is unrestraint in his anger: screams, disbands hands, stomps his feet, chases with belt around the room … In fact, this father does not educate a personality but destroys it.
A real father – is a creator
Real man develops himself and leads the child. The basic principle of fatherhood – is education by own example. To educate others, you have to live an honest, open, and righteous life. Thus fatherhood is an example of how the person should behave
Remember how the man was punished after the Fall? “In the sweat of face you will earn your bread”. To work up a sweat – means not just go to work, but do your job with love, creativity, giving yourself to job. “In the sweat of face” – means that a man has the loyalty and dedication to his job, a willingness to serve. Such a selfless attitude to his work, in fact, causes the sweat on the face: because it’s very difficult to work seriously and responsibly every day.
But now, as a rule, such an attitude to job is rarely observed: many people work in offices, with computer. There’s no difference – where to work – in one office, or in the other office. You can even work at home! The man is not tied to his place, nor to the team or to the business, and he only looking for one thing: the money should be paid and job shouldn’t be very hard. As a result, a man changes his lifestyle, his thinking, and those father’s qualities that he could inherited receive no development.
In conclusion: Fatherhood is a top manifestation of masculinity, but you don’t have to be a biological father to be an example for someone weaker.