DR. CELESTE CATANIA-OPRIS, PH.D., LMFT
The definition of what a “father” is varies from person-to-person. For many, a father is a protector, a shining example of what a man should be, and a go-to when you are in need of help. There is a reason why many people commonly say, “Children need their fathers,” because a father brings in a specific presence, unforgettable lessons, and memories that children will cherish for the rest of their lives.
Similarly to mothers, a lot of what fathers do tends to go unnoticed. It becomes expected that “Daddy goes to work,” and “Daddy will fix it.” At times, men can even feel unappreciated, as certain responsibilities may become somewhat expected. However, the key is to remember that your family may expect certain things from you because they trust that YOU can handle it. You are their Superman, who is capable of doing anything and everything. Not every man can fulfill that role, but to your family, you are perfect and needed.
Every contribution you make keeps things going, flowing, and moving. Some of the fondest memories for children include their dad. Whether it was learning life lessons, exploring outdoors, or assembling their toys, you truly make an impact in their lives. Think of all the sacrifices you have made and know they are all worth it. It requires a strong drive to get up every day and go to work and it requires discipline to be present as a father, which is one of the greatest presents you can give to your children.
Your kids are watching and learning from you. Your children will benefit from the skills and knowledge you possess. Share it with them. Make things a learning lesson; essentially give them a piece of yourself that they can take with them and one day share with their own families. Yes, your kids may describe you as fun, but they also see you as smart, loving, and hard-working. Sometimes you just have to remember to let them in and share your vulnerable side with them. Kids need that as well.
You may not always have heart-to-heart conversations with your kids, as many fathers and children tend to be “tough” around each other. However, just know that you are loved more than words can describe. Your house is a home because of your presence. You are idolized by your children and there is no other Dad your kids could ever want.
With everything going on, remember to also take time for yourself and try to relax. Stress can get to us, which may cause us to react negatively at times. The more relaxed you are, the more patient and understanding you can be, which will positively impact those around you, especially your children.
Enjoy the life and the family you have helped build. These are the moments to be proud of. Cherish these times because these precious moments will not be exactly the same forever. Just as your children continue to grow, so will you as a person, as a man, and as a father. Happy Father’s Day to you, Dad!
Celeste Catania-Opris, Ph.D., LMFT, offers therapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families. Visit www.TherapyForModernHousewives.com.