What it Means to be a Father

Fathers come in all shapes and sizes. There are biological fathers, adoptive fathers and those who assume the father role—like uncles, grandfathers, stepfathers, role models, brothers and male friends. No matter how they became the “father” figure, these men mean the world to the children with whom they interact.

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Some dads are good at the everyday activities of parenthood. They feed, bathe, teach, play and talk to their children. Some dads are better at doing physical activities, like sports or fixing things up around the house with the children. Some dads are so busy at work, the weekends are the only time they get to really spend quality time with their children. They make breakfast (even if only dry cereal and milk), attend activities and are great cheerleaders at sport events. Some dads have assumed the position of a stay-at-home parent. They provide constant and consistent care day in and day out.

There are also dads who don’t see their children on a regular basis. Perhaps due to divorce or relocation, or being the biological father of a child living with an adoptive family.

Just because a dad may not be near, does not mean a child doesn’t think of them. For adoptive children, unknowns about a parent can raise questions about themselves. Who am I? Do I look like my dad? Does he know about me? Should I even call him my dad?

Father’s Day is an opportunity to discuss what it means to be a father and the role he plays in your child’s life. Whether present or not, he is an important part of your child’s biology and emotional development. If another male is filling in for the father role, discuss why and what he means so much to you and your family.

Fathers come in all shapes and sizes. Each one is unique and fulfills a need. Wishing everyone a Happy Father’s Day.

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