After a short, recent holiday hiatus, I am back, and life is in full swing again. We celebrated Good Friday, Easter Sunday, began spring break, and visited the cherry blossoms, but for most of our holiday, my husband and I spent time celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. This anniversary is so unique and important to me, because I am beginning to see the influence and importance of my husband's relationships, not only with me, family and friends, but most of all, with my children.
Mr. President #1 will be six years old next month, so he is beginning to mirror a lot of the characteristics and traits of my husband. I have heard many women and single mothers talk about their success in raising children without the help or involvement of a husband or father figure, but for me, that seems virtually impossible. When a father is absent, I often see other male figures step in and assume that role. With that being said, I thought this occasion would be a perfect time for me to emphasize and celebrate the positive impact my husband has had on our entire family in his role as a husband, a son, a friend, but more importantly, as a father.
It it is natural for us to emulate the behaviors of our parents. As a woman, I can attest to the fact that I looked for a husband who possessed similar characteristics and qualities as my father: someone who was strong, caring, loving, dedicated, and willing. If a little boy has a father who is angry and abusive the majority of the time, chances are he will become accustomed to that type of conduct and begin to emulate those negative behaviors. If a little boy has a father who is just the opposite -- fun, loving and caring, chances are he will emulate those positive behaviors, which shows us just how vital a father's role truly is.
Social interaction is extremely important for all children and their parents. Research shows that early patterns of interaction are really all children know. It is those patterns that effect how they feel about themselves, and how they develop. Children are extremely vulnerable to those early patterns and incorporate those behavioral qualities in their regular routine of social exchange. For this purpose, dads (and parents in general) need to be positive examples for their children. It is us they are emulating, and our negative behaviors can do more harm than we think.
And for some households where parents are divorced, separated, or the father lives outside of the home for whatever reason, things happen and not every marriage is a fairytale, but it is still important for the father to be involved and continue a healthy and loving relationship with his children.
Very few households these days consist of married couples, which is why I try my best to lead my family by example now, and explain to Mr. President #1 the importance of friendship between mommys and daddys every time a question is asked by him. In a study by the American Psychological Association, I found that dad's are more engaged in this day and age more than ever before. For this reason alone, more emphasis needs to be placed on the role a father plays and his relationship with his children. Now let me be clear...some fathers will never step up to the job, so all we can do is pray for them. And for some households where parents are divorced, separated, or the father lives outside of the home for whatever reason, things happen and not every marriage is a fairytale, but it is still important for the father to be involved and continue a healthy and loving relationship with his children.
Let me share one tip with you fellow mothers: encourage your husbands and the fathers of your children, and bring out the best in them. Men are often like a computer system -- you get out what you put in. If you want your husbands to be positive and caring, you must do the same for them. Don't waste your energy telling them they did something wrong, or constantly complaining about this and that, but save that energy to help bring out their brightest and best qualities. After all, you and your children will both benefit in the long run, because at the end of the day, encouraging your husbands will allow them to be encouraging to you and your children in return.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who told me that as a black man, there is no place for him in our society. I have to disagree with him on this matter because we need our husbands and fathers now more than ever, as the man's role in today's society is slowly diminishing. The future is at a loss without them, and it is up to us women to give them the support and reassurance they need. I am very blessed to have such a wonderful husband who is an incredible role model for our children. His role makes my job a heck of a lot easier, and I desire the same happiness for each one of you.