I have to object to some of the points listed below in bold from the article by Linda Lewis Griffith titled, “Some pointers on being the best Dad possible” (June 18). We definitely want our fathers to be good fathers, not just biological fathers.
Spend time with your children: It is good when fathers spend time with their children. We can spend time with children, but our minds also need to be open to them. When sitting next to our children with the TV on, we are not interacting with them, only participating in an event. We need to spend quality time with them like eating meals together or playing interactive games where participation involves communication.
Respect your youngsters’ mother: I like Griffith’s statement of being a partner, not a helper. Someone said the best thing a father can give his child is to love their mother, conversely this works for mothers also. I think we need to be “nice” to one another. One great slogan I have is “treat your family as guests and your guests as family.”
Teach your son how to be a man: This topic of Griffith’s topic bothers me. She is advocating a definite sexist direction. Horseplay is terrific, but what are masculine household chores? Are finances and managing money strictly masculine traits?
Be a partner, not a helper: A father needs to be a partner, not one whose character is established by “masculine traits.” He needs to be able to do the things necessary for the family such as laundry, dishes, cooking, changing diapers, hauling kids to school as well as being able to mow the lawn and take out the garbage.
Conversely, his mate should be able to turn the water off in an emergency. His spouse needs to learn how to use a hammer and other tools as well as being aware of, and even managing, their finances. Fathers are not babysitters but an integral part in the life of their child.
Involve youngsters in your hobbies and take an in interest in your children’s activities: Involving your children and being interested in what they are doing is super important and I agree with the author. But why do we say that cooking and sewing and housecleaning are for girls and mowing the lawn and having a paper route is for boys?
Set limits: As far as limits are concerned, why do we think that the father must be the enforcer of the family? “Wait until your father comes home” should be outlawed. A misdeed by a child needs to be taken care of as soon as possible because that misdeed is forgotten by the end of the day. Waiting for father to come home will only cause a rift and may develop fear of the father, not respect. Both parents need to establish authority, discipline and boundaries. Anne Miranda taught Child Development/Psychology at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia. She has a doctorate in education and has lived in Morro Bay for the past 25 years.