A Father's Role in the Family

Topics: Gender role, Father, Parent Pages: 5 (1946 words) Published: February 24, 2014
We are born like blank pieces of paper, waiting for the black and white to define our futures. With every encounter/relationship we develop, we are supposed to gain something. Shaped by our experience and relationships, the person that we are today is a direct result of the people that we allowed to be a part of the stage play called “Life”. There are two psychologists known for their work on observational or social learning: Albert Bandura and Julian Rotter. Reciprocal determinism is Bandura’s belief that cognitions, behaviors and the environment interact to produce personality. According to Rotter’s theory, prior learning experiences create cognitive expectances that guide behavior and influence the environment. The absence of a healthy father-child relationship negatively affects a person but anyone can overcome this hurdle and become truly successful in life. A father's role in the family is far more important than just being the breadwinner and male authority figure. There is a consensus among the experts in child and family studies that the father’s role in the family affects his children’s development (Lamb, 2003). A solid foundation is the minimal pre-requisite for well-rounded and productive children that should begin with the father. Research findings consistently reveal that warm and affectionate fathers not only can help their children develop positive self-esteem, but also influence the development of their children’s gender role behavior. Fathers play an enormous role in developing infants into healthy adults. According to Wendy Pan, the father child relationship is fundamentally important in its developmental process. The play that a father engages in, which tends to be more physical and spontaneous, contributes to healthy brain development in infants. As infants grow into small children, the role of play takes on broader meaning and value. It takes on the role of teaching the child problem solving, exploring limits, and goal oriented behavior. Also during this stage fathers help children learn to limit emotional outburst and develop empathy through emotional involvement and modeling the appropriate behaviors. When they become school age children, the father help them learn to assume responsibility, encourage taking on challenges, and helping to direct oral development. During adolescence stages, the role of the father is more passive; he takes on the role of an advisor and friend. In the novel “The Fight Club” (Palahniuk, 2005), the narrator in adulthood, was in search of love and acceptance from his father. “My father never went to college so it was really important I go to college” (Palahniuk, 2005). After college, I called him long distance and said, now what? “When I got a job and turned 25, long distance, I said, now what (Palahniuk, 2005). Absent fathers, create the ‘roots’ of an epidemic of ‘at risk or high risk’ children. Risks ranging from criminal activity, criminal sexual activity, high states of depression, or simple psychological problems that affect society as a whole. Forty-three percent of prison inmates grew up in a single-parent household of that 39 percent with their mothers, 4 percent with their fathers and an additional 14 percent lived in households without either biological parent. Another 14 percent had spent at least part of their childhood in a foster home, agency or other juvenile institution. (US Bureau of Justice Statistics, Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991) This statistic alone is a direct correlation to our societies rising prison costs evolving from nonexistent fathers. Seventy-two percent of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers and 60 percent of America's rapists grew up the same way. (D. Cornell (et al.), Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 5, 1987, And N. Davidson, "Life Without Father," Policy Review, 1990.) The previous fact is one that everyone should remind men to do the best that they can or eventually someone innocent will...
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