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Fatherhood Entails Many Roles 
Burlington Times-News - Editorial - June 17, 2012

     Our mothers nurture and protect us.  It's the role of a lifetime. Fathers, well, the role is not so clearly defined, but no less important.

     For some, dads were the sole bread-winners in households.  They went to work in the fields or the boardrooms, in offices or stores, on construction sites, in factories, in police stations, courthouses, schoolhouses and fire departments.  Many stand guard over this nation's defense.

     In some cases, our fathers had less hands-on experience raising us than our mothers, but their influence was still critical in turning us into who we are.  Dad taught us to play ball, hunt, take the chances our moms frowned upocn, strike out and grow up.  They shaped our attitudes toward others, helped us realize our potential, punished us when we were wrong and taught us to own up to our mistakes.  Generally, they expected us to become decent, honest men and women.

     Many children today are growing up in households without  a father's presence in their lives.  That's unfortunate, but even when a dad can't be physically present 24 hours a day, he bears a responsibility to his child and society in general to still be there when needed.

     While women certainly are capable parents, father figures bring other qualities to the table.  They make a valuable contribution in the journey boys take to become men and girls to turn into women. 

     Good fathers help their children grow toward the


sun and away from the darkness in life.  Men who become fathers and understand that the act of making a child is much more than something transient and physical also realize the tasks associated with creating life.  With the physical part of fatherhood comes the responsibility to raise his offspring to solid adulthood, and turn them into good citizens and compassionate individuals.

     Fathers should provide for their children.  They should give their children guidance and wisdom and help them profit from their own mistakes.

     They should live as examples of what they want their children to become:  Moral and decent men generally produce moral and decent children.  They should treat their partners with respect and love, and remember that their children look up to them and want to  be like them.   The face they show their children should be one they want them to emulate. 

     During the past few decades, the roles played by fathers in the lives of their children have been sadly down-graded in our society.  That is so misguided and ultimately destructive.  Our children need their fathers as much as they do their mothers; society should place more emphasis on the importance of their relationship with their kids.

     So, here's to fathers everywhere:  May you be present in the lives of your children and, in a positive way, help shape the generations that come after you.