Core idea 3
As the baby’s father you have a critical role
Based on my experience with young children as a preschool teacher and parent, I believe that children see both mothers and fathers as an important part of their children’s lives. They might be living with two men or two women who love each other or with a mother alone or with a stepfather. Children can grow up happy without their parents when their new moms and dads offer love and make the sacrifices that enable them to thrive. But there is a gap, an absence that bruises the heart often in a hidden place. The adults who love those children should understand and accept this experience of loss. A child’s parents cannot ever be fully replaced.
Furthermore, I believe children view their fathers as primarily the protector, the mother as primarily the nurturer. Each parent can fill the other’s purpose, but in a secondarily way. When frightened, a child looks for the father, when hurt for the mother.
Our culture seems to send the message that fathers are not really needed in the lives of their children. A woman, for example, is artificially inseminated and gives birth to eight fatherless children. Media reports criticize her primarily for the cost to taxpayers for the hospital care. They refer to the incredible difficulty of raising eight babies alone. Yet there is no comment of the damage to the children from not having a father in their lives.
Before continuing, take a few moments to consider. Do you believe fathers have been disenfranchised? If so, why has this happened?