If the warmer months weren’t already a clue that Father’s Day is near – on 19th June – this is your reminder. It’s an occasion to make all the father figures in our lives feel special by showing our love and appreciation towards them.
A relationship with an engaged father has many benefits, like higher IQ test scores and fewer psychological problems – this is what is known as the ‘father effect’. Thus, it’s essential that the lessons they have taught us don’t go unnoticed.
While the day is a meaningful celebration, it’s important to show our affection outside of the designated 24 hours. In celebration of Father’s Day this year, we explore six insightful lessons that our father figures have taught us – from single dads to stepdads.
Important qualities in relationships
The love between a father and his child is a life-long teaching moment for relationships. The attention and affection that a father shows his child provides an example of what they deserve when it comes to romantic relationships. Single dads in particular provide a great teaching moment; with no partner, the child is unable to see an example visibly, so it’s the responsibility of the father to show the loving qualities.
That isn’t all – a man who has shared many years of marriage with his partner can teach an insightful lesson to their sons and daughters on how to maintain a romantic relationship with qualities like patience and strength.
From a young age, it’s important for us to be taught about teamwork, so that it is engraved in our minds early. We can thank our fathers for this, as there will have been countless times as a child when we were told to share our toys. But stepdads in particular set the tone for excellent teamwork.
Stepping up to be a part of a new family requires plenty of teamwork. Stepdads must work with their partner and the biological father to ensure that the family remains happy without causing conflict or problems. Stepdads are an amazing example of how collaboration can achieve an outcome that is best for everyone, even when it might mean that they have to sacrifice something themselves.
Passing on the etiquette of a true gentlemen
The world would be a better place if we were all born with an understanding of etiquette. However, this is something that we learn from important figures in our lives, like our fathers.
Manners like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are the basics, but our fathers teach us much more, specifically how to be respectful to others. Punctuality is one very important lesson we learn from being respectful, which is vital whether in our personal lives or a professional setting.
Dress sense is one of the subtle teachings we receive from father figures, and this all boils down to effort. Picture a family trip for an evening meal: men’s chinos and a shirt would be an appropriate outfit, whereas something like a tracksuit may not be. Seeing our fathers in such attire for various occasions teaches us for the future, whether that be a lunch date or a job interview.
Hard work is the key to success
During our childhood, we spent a considerable amount of time at school, thus making teachers important figures in our lives. And for children who grow up without a biological father around, these teachers essentially become the father figure that they need, regardless of their gender.
School isn’t limited to learning various subjects. Beyond the science, the maths, and many more, there’s resilience to be taught. Working hard is a crucial part of our lives, especially as we grow older, as it determines our success. Through teaching, teachers enforce resilience and how it is a factor in high-quality work. Not to mention, school is a safe place away from home, and spending so much time with teachers makes it a place to be comfortable to communicate problems.
Keeping communication respectful
Communication is something that we can learn from all of the father figures in our lives. That isn’t just as simple as a conversation, it’s learning how to be respectful, which is beneficial for our social skills and simply just a part of being human.
Speaking to others in a respectful manner is something that is important, of course, but this should be taught to us at a young age. It’s vital for relationships, work, and even in day-to-day lives, like speaking to retail assistants. As children, we look up to our fathers and absorb how they are speaking to others. As we grow up, we reflect what we have learnt onto others.
A gracious person will be understanding of the fact that life doesn’t always run smoothly and to not let it affect our communication. And this goes hand-in-hand with patience – seeing how our father deals with things, like a long queue in a shop, reveals how we should deal with emotions and communicate respectfully, regardless of problems.
Having priorities in order
Our father figures do all that they can to ensure that we are happy and cared for, but, unfortunately, this can take plenty of their time. It can be tricky to balance family life with work, a social life, and other relationships like friendship, yet our fathers prioritise us through the struggle.
Despite long, chaotic days at work, our father figures make time for family. Single dads especially have lots of time to balance when there is no partner to offer financial support, yet we receive the love and attention to maintain a healthy relationship and to be cared for. Not forgetting stepdads who take in the partner’s children as their own – we truly gain an insight into what it means to have priorities in place.
On the other hand, fathers will also step away from their jobs to take care of us when we’re young. Our care becomes a priority to them, and they might be willing to delay a return to their job to act as caregiver. Many changes and advancements can occur in a company, so over a long period of becoming a full-time parent, our fathers miss out on valuable experience in the workplace.
We can learn many things from the people in our lives, even when we’re older. But father figures have taught us many things that have shaped us who we are today, and it’s something to be grateful for all year round, on top of Father’s Day. How will you be celebrating the occasion this year?