"My father didn't tell me how to live, he lived and let me watch him."
One of my all time favorite movie dads is Mufasa. I think Disney knocked it out of the park with their portrayal of a loving and wise father figure. Mufasa also showed what a pain in the ass having a kid could be but he never once regretted it. And of course in the end he gave his life to save his boy.
Having a positive father figure does many great things in the life of a child and here are a few of them.
1. Dads make the kids smarter. Literally, studies have shown that rough housing and tossing kids around like dads do actually helps connect neurons in the developing brain. So while mom may think dad is being too rough, he's actually giving his child one of the greatest gifts he can...higher intelligence!
2. Makes kids tougher. Having a dad to tell you to suck it up and keep moving teaches an incredible life lesson. The world is a tough place and dad is one of the best people to learn that lesson from. I've seen it multiple times, when a child falls off his or her bike and scratches their knee. If the child looks at mom first they will start to cry more and louder, but if the same child looks at dad first they stop crying and get back on their bike faster. Having dad there makes all the difference! Which brings me to my next point.
3. Dad makes us feel safe. Its easier to step out on a limb and be adventurous when you have dad there to catch you if things go sideways. Having a strong fatherly influence as a safety net will embolden a child to go into the unknown and explore the big bad world. Plus, who doesn't remember saying, "Oh yeah, well my dad can beat up your dad!" That's because Dad has fearlessly walked into a dark room and stared down the boogieman and come back without a scratch on him! So of course he can take his friends dad. :)
4. Dad lets a kid be a kid. We all grow up sooner or later but every father I've ever met wants his son or daughter to have that innocence for as long as possible. To not have to worry about where dinner is coming from, or the birds and the bees, or any number of things. Actually, most dads are completely blindsided when their babies know WAY more than they thought. Dad just wants to protect their child's innocence because he knows in this world it is a precious thing.
Finally and this is more of a culmination of benefits really.
5. A child with a loving dad is more well-rounded. Too often we see men and women who didn't have a dad making just God awful life decisions. Women date men who are basically predators because they have "daddy issues", and men with so much anger and rage that they fly off the handle at the slightest provocation. A child with dad there is just more self-confident. So they don't feel the need to prove themselves by being a bully and knows what a loving relationship looks like because its been modeled for them their entire lives.
Having a dad around is truly a gift and blessing. Whether you did or not is really out of your control. I hope you did and I hope he's still around giving sage advice and unconditional love. Here at Uppwardlife though, we try to focus on things we can control.
So whether you did or didn't is less important than being there for the kid YOU have. And ladies allowing your child's father be a part of their life and not some bargaining chip should things go south. The saying, "you can't be a man until you see a man" is very accurate. There are enough baby daddies, what the world needs is more fathers. Because as you can see having a dad gives a child a leg up in a harsh world.
So lets hear it for dad, the strongest most awesomest man in the world!
And special shout out to all the step dads out there doing it, even when you don't "have" to. We see you!
Best of life, Kris