What Good are Fathers For?
If you only watched Television in the United States and then only sit-coms you would know that fathers are whiny, silly, rather stupid, football watching straight men there for the punch line.
Or, if you only read police reports you would think that shiftless, jobless, drug infested, yelling, hitting, low self worth was the definition.
In my early psychology and social work text (remember this was 35 years ago) there was a list of items fathers model and provide instruction on for their children:
- In being in the world and how to interact there
- In conflict resolution and the use of emotional factors
- In the behaviors of the different sexes
- In the roles of the different sexes
- In teaching expectations which are placed upon the child towards being an adult
- Table Manners (YEP!) and social courtesies.
30 Years ago we were terribly worried about absent fathers, divorced fathers / deadbeat dads, and how to socialize children properly. About 15 years ago we began to be hyper vigilante about abusive fathers, evil step fathers, incest, and physical abuse. These things were always there but we did not know how prevalent and extensive until computers and the Internet started putting all the data together quickly.
Now there are blog lists of deadbeat Dads, abusive Dads, murdering Dads and guys that are horrible dates available in just minutes after a woman feels the anger and negativity rising. I don’t think this is such a good idea, but I can understand where the rage comes from and I have seen the guy’s sites about their thoughts about ugly dates, diva woman, sex and money only gals, and bridezillas.
Candidate Obama certainly had the screws put to him for criticizing the Black Community’s Fathers and following in the comedian/actor/educator’s footsteps of Bill Cosby.
Now 30 years ago the text books in Psychology only presented up to age 21. When I stopped teaching the text books went to Death, we finally decided that people kept growing and changing and were more complex as adults than we first imaged. We do know that learning skills are programmed into a person in the first extremely crucial years (1-4) and that our values and behaviors to act upon those values are quite likely in place by age 10-12.
We just seem to be learning all the time or unlearning.
My husband just took a look at my Father’s table manners and adapted his to formal perfection in just two meals together.
I think the adult people who choose to parent have the toughest job on the planet in such a global environment. I believe it is a task as big as Global Warming and even bigger than the Financial Crisis. It is another part of our living that needs to be on the top of the list, and it is something folks can work on locally.
My hats off to those people who decide to parent and to do it well, I admire your efforts.
I see evidence in the blogging world of a powerful new Global network of parents who are truly working on doing an amazing job – Father Bloggers and Mommy Bloggers. I will list just 6 of the Dad Bloggers here, and their blogs will lead you to even more:
Blogger Dad http://www.bloggerdad.com/
Writer Dad http://writerdad.com/
Good job guys!
Now I would like to make a request of all the parents out there, Could we please work on table manners a bit more!
I know there are companies out there like Microsoft which pay up to $1,500 an employee to improve manners providing international and cultural education, but I just think the rest of us could use a brush up on them too!
Chewing with the mouth open – ‘See Food’, blowing your nose at the table, playing with feet, fixing makeup, and brushing one’s hair, loud voices and gaudy laughter, no finesse with the knife or fork, laying on the table and shoveling it in – PLEEEESE I HAVE HAD ENOUGH.
Come on Dads it’s just one more thing on your plate!
Do table manners seem to be a thing of the past to you? What are some of the wonderful things you see the new father’s doing these days? Any other blogs you would like to highlight?
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