Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Gift of Fatherhood

Parenting is certainly not easy. And even though I can't even possibly know what it's like to be a father, I can tell you, based on personal experience with my dad and the father of my son, that fatherhood presents unique challenges that are different than those that mothers deal with.

Aaron Hass, PhD, puts it all together in his book, Gift of Fatherhood. In his work with families that spans over twenty years, Dr. Hass has acquired a great understanding of the issues men face when becoming fathers.

Twelve Reasons Why You Might Not Want to Spend More Time with Your Children:
  1. Parenting is difficult
  2. You wait too long before becoming involved
  3. You made an attempt to engage your child and you were rebuffed
  4. You see your child as a burden rather than a joy
  5. Your children seem to have arrived from another planet
  6. You feel more comfortable with your son than your daughter
  7. The temperaments of you and your child don't seem to fit
  8. You have a very difficult child
  9. You feel financial pressures
  10. You believe parenting is your wife's responsibility
  11. Your children prefer to be with their mother
  12. You avoid being with your child to avoid marital conflict
Why You Should Want to Spend More Time with Your Children:
  1. You will understand their abilities better
  2. You will enhance your child's self-esteem
  3. You may be able to forestall childhood problems
  4. You will have more influence on them
  5. It will enhance your self-esteem
  6. Because of your epitaph
  7. You can do it right
  8. Your child presents you with an opportunity to grow
While I happen to think that some of these issues are a bit out-of-date (do some men still think parenting responsibilities lie with the mother?), I again have to wonder if perhaps they are issues that men deal with. I'm hoping that the fathers reading this can offer some feedback and let moms know what it is that may cause you to seek time away from your children and what it is that motivates you to spend more time with them than your father may have spent with you.

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