A father’s responsibility

I had cause recently to reflect upon aspects of the responsibilities I hold simply because I am a father. These are not responsibilities I was necessarily aware of when my wife and I choose to become parents, nor are they necessarily responsibilities I would willingly choose. Irrespective of my attitude towards them, these are my responsibilities.

As a father, I am responsible for my home. This is my house and everything, and everyone, within is my responsibility. If I choose to allow a person, an attitude or a behaviour inside my home, then I am responsible for it and the ramifications thereof. I cannot absolve myself of responsibility if I have opened the gate to let in the pest, be it an insect or a bull!

As a father, I am responsible for growth. I revel as my children progress through the various school grades, transitioning from grappling with sight words to reading novels. This is a seemingly natural progression and one we expect. Why then, would I limit my kids when they want to attempt something at which I know they will, at first attempt, fail? Natural protection is important, but so is natural learning. I need to create environments where my kids will definitely win so they can savour victory and where they may fail, so they can appreciate the learning and work required for success.

As a father I am responsible for leadership. Guiding the ship across smooth waters and through storms, the responsibility is mine. I cannot abdicate my captain’s duty just because the seas have become rough. It is at this time, I truly have the opportunity to lead and where the impact of my leadership will be greatest.

As a father I am responsible for respect. Respecting authority, respecting one’s self, respecting their mum. I may not agree with nor even like elected leaders but I must respect the position of authority they hold. Similarly, the respect I display for my wife will be mirrored by my boys not only in their attitude towards their mum but women generally. And, critically, if do not respect myself through what I allow myself to think and do, then this too will be reflected in the lives of the men I am shaping.

As a father I am responsible. The buck stops with me.


Image credit: maigi / 123RF Stock Photo

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