Men and women are different. And I am thankful for those differences. Especially as they appear in parenthood, because fathers take risks. There are just some things that I can’t or won’t do as a mother. And most of them involve letting my children take bigger risks. I am thankful that my own father took risks, and encouraged me in so many ways.
It’s been said that mothers prepare their children best for their home life (present and future); moms help a child learn how to manage a home, get along with others, and care for children. Whereas a father best prepares his child to function outside the home; they help a child take more risks, face challenges head on, and help to build a child’s self-respect and internal limits. Mothers are better caregivers where fathers tend to play more, particularly physically.
Fathers give children that thrill of adventure, of testing their limits: they push harder and faster. Literally. My husband will toss my children high into the air as just little babies and catch them once again. He’ll spin them faster on the merry-go-round. He’ll push them higher on the swing, shove them down slides perhaps before they are ready, and encourage their first steps more. He’ll let them flip and fly and soar in ways that I can’t (physically) and won’t (mentally).
Mothers generally care more for the safety of their children. We want our children home, safe and secure. Fathers understand the need of children to leave their comfort zones and explore the world and run faster and jump higher and for longer.
These physical skills are important for a child to have a better connection with their own bodies and their capabilities, increasing their coordination, and preparing them for sports someday. And, it’s physical contact with dad.
And dads have a tendency to be a little “harder” on children. But, fathers’ somewhat more demanding verbal interactions and commands to their children, can help children be more articulate and straightforward in their speech and communication. The higher expectations of fathers help a child prepare for the workforce, where expectations can be high. (Source) And fathers like to tease, joke, and be silly more than mothers, being a bit more unpredictable, just like the world they will someday have to face. Essentially, a father encourages a child’s blossoming independence.
My husband is a pretty great father. He’s not perfect, and probably stresses out way too much about little things the kids do wrong, but he loves them dearly. And he loves them in a way that I cannot. Because he encourages them to swing higher, hang longer, run faster, and do more. His expectations are high, but my children are learning how to meet those expectations, and in so doing they realize that they can do hard things.
My husband has taught the girls how to play catch, swing a bat, climb ladders, and “drive the car.” He encourages them to let go in the swimming pool instead of holding tight to him. He puts them under too. He’s taken them out into the ocean even when they didn’t really want to go. He’s taught them how swing on swings, slide down poles, hang upside down, get over falls, climb trees, and more.
My daughters and son love their risk-taking father. And so do I. Happy Father’s Day Joshua!