Taking A Look Into The Definition And Job Of A Father
Who takes on the arduous job of provider, protector, counselor, advisor, teacher, referee, arbitrator, disciplinarian, repairman, and many more roles that may pop up during his life?
One answer is, of course, a father.
We know how much mothers do for their children, and the many roles and tasks they take on after giving birth to their children, and realize the additional time mothers spend as mothers and fathers in some of today’s family situations. But even in situations where both parents are not living together, and in cases where one parent may be gone for military commitments, or in situations where a father may have passed away, the legacy of that man, though not the same as the person himself, hopefully lives on in what he exemplified, and taught, in his time with his family.
Singer and Songwriter, Keith Urban once said, “I only hope, when I have my own family, that every day I see a little more of my father in me.” My father, Joe X, had high expectations in many factions of his life. He had high expectations for his family, including his children. He had high expectations at his job, church, in his neighborhood, his city, and himself. He worked hard exemplifying that to us, his children.
There were times when my father got angry with us, or people at work, church, in the neighborhood, and even himself. Sometimes, he let his emotions show and/or be heard. I’ve often been told, when I’ve gotten upset with some people/things, that I’m just like my father. (Trust me, I’ve gotten far more upset with things than Dad ever did, but he did have his list of things that upset him.) Little do people realize that when they tell me this, it’s the greatest compliment they can give to me.
I’ll disagree with them, though, as I’m not even half the man, my father was. But I’m grateful people think I have some of Dad’s personality, and expectations, as part of my personality and life strategy. I’ve tried to raise my family with the same dedication and love as my father showed us. I can’t say I’ve tried to do everything the same, because times and circumstances are different.
There is, and never will be, a book that’s a sure fire, fool-proof, reliable manual on raising children, or being a good husband. I can look back at some things my father did, how he did them, how he treated people, how he protected, and provided for us, and use those examples, picking and choosing what I think will work with my family and children. Every parent will do things a bit differently, because they parent from their heart, and their gut, and we’re all different, and our situations are all different.
American educator, consultant, and author Reed Markham once said, “The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams, and aspirations he sets, not only for himself, but for his family.” Fathers can set their own goals. They can exemplify them to their children, but that doesn’t always mean they’ll happen. I taught public school children for over 30 years. I presented much information, offered many problem solving strategies, presented many ways to show mastery of required knowledge included in the curriculum, but I really couldn’t teach them anything if they didn’t want to learn it, or if I didn’t do a good job of giving them opportunities, methods, or strategies to grasp those ideas, that information, and the solving strategies needed for success. The same idea can be said for being a father. Fortunately for us, Dad did a great job doing that.
I could (hopefully did), with my children, lead by example, emphasizing goals, encouraging aspirations, presenting good work ethics, giving problem solving strategies, stressing proper ways to treat people, showing the importance of keeping the bar high, never lowering themselves to a lesser level. I probably, at times, exemplified some things, NOT to do, regarding self-control, volume levels, attitude, but have tried, in those situations, to convey a “do as I say, not as I do” strategy.
So tomorrow, as we’re celebrating all fathers, dads, grandfathers, step-fathers, foster fathers, and godfathers, I’ll be celebrating my pop, thanking him for what he gave us, both tangible and internal, laying the groundwork for us to be good parents and good people.
Happy Father’s Day tomorrow, to all who’ve earned the title of Father, or the like.