Thirty or Forty years ago, it was taken for granted that the father was the breadwinner and head of the family. Nowadays, there is far less rigid expectations of a father’s responsibilities – couples often work together, both in and outside the home, and they share responsibilites.
Not long ago, a typical mother’s warning to a child was: “Wait till your father gets home”, and that showed who was supposed to be responsible for discipline in a family. Today, there is a more positive approach to parenting in which either of the parent uses warmth, encouragement and praise to get good behaviour from the child.
We need to remember that for children, parents are the most important role models. They will be watching and copying their parents to learn how to behave. When they see the father or the mother behaving in a sensitive and respectful way, they’ll copy and understand this is how others should be treated.
It is almost two years since I became a father, and I can see to an extent the transformation within myself into a more sentimental and sensitive being. Ever since he has come into our lives, my son has reminded me and my wife that we are loved and needed.
The best thing about being a father started the day he was born. And I was fortunate to have seen him enter this world, which is rare in this part of the globe.
I consider it a blessing to spend each moment with my son. Watching him develop his personality provides lots of laughs and brings joy into our home. Watching his reactions to learning and seeing new things brings tremendous happiness to our life. The highlight of my day is hearing his little voice exclaiming “Appa!”
Spending time with my son has become my favourite pastime. It is a wonderful feeling to be with him, whether playing sports or just sitting in our balcony and watching a little dog on the street. The innocent joy on my son’s face when I play with him, sing for him his favourite song, narrate him his favourite stories or the excitement he shows when he sees a cow or a horse or a dog or some fishes near a mall up the road, are simply priceless experiences. The small moments of genuine connection of emotion cannot be described.
My son reminds me again and again that this world is full of wonders. For him, everything is new and everything must be explored with all his senses. And I am grateful and honoured to guide and encourage him as he sets out on this great journey of discovery that is life.
Experiencing the many moments when, without warning, I become completely overwhelmed by the happiness my son brings to my life, is simply great. These are moments that you don’t expect — when he’s sleeping in a contorted position, when he splashes water while giving him a bath, when he reveals his unique personality in a spontaneous comment, when he’s scared about seeing an elephant really close to him.
The great thing about being a dad is coming home after work, and seeing his face light up like you just gave him the best gift he could ever receive. (There are times when he makes me feel that he loves my Helmet more than me!) Hearing him say what he did the whole day brings so much contentment.
Before signing off, just want to say that I am not a perfect father, which is a statement that should be understood as a given for anyone in this profession. I cherish my son for the remarkable human being he is at the moment, and for everything he can become.
Happy Father’s Day!