Saturday, March 20, 2010
Piece of Advice #6: Encourage your children's relationship with their father
It's important that children, boys and girls, get to know their fathers, spend time with their fathers, and develop an appreciation of what fathers do for them in terms of providing stability, security, role modeling, and their personal talents, gifts, and abilities.
If you do anything to stand in the way of this relationship developing and maintaining itself, you are not acting in the best interests of your child. It is, of course, a given that your children's father is not a criminal, an addict, abusive, or otherwise dangerous (and by "dangerous" I do not mean "interferes with your own agenda or causes you inconvenience" if the two of you are no longer together). It is your job as a mother to not choose a man like this to impregnate you in the first place. If you have, it is now your duty to work as hard as you can to find a decent, reliable replacement male role model for your children in a grandfather, uncle, brother or friend (and by "friend" I do not mean "lover, live-in, or boyfriend"). Having a mother is not enough. Having a name on a birth certificate is not enough. As long as the father has interest in his kids, work, work, work to facilitate their relationship. Your children will need those ties as a security net and bulwark in the future as our lives become increasingly less secure. Having concerned family on your side is the best backup anyone can have.