Teens may not want to admit this, Dad, but they need you. Anyone who takes the role of a father – not just a birth father, but also an adoptive father, step-father, or father-figure – plays a pivotal role in a teen’s life. On Father’s Day, this June 16th, let’s take a moment to appreciate dads.
Fathers’ Influence on Teens
Studies show that teens are less likely to suffer from depression, or feelings of instability, hostility, or low self-esteem when fathers are present in their lives. They are better able to handle daily stress. They have fewer relationship problems as teenagers and as adults. There is a lower incidence of teen pregnancy when a father is present in a teen girl’s life. Teens learn about responsible and ethical behavior from watching how their fathers behave. They learn about relationships and treating others with respect and empathy from watching how their fathers treat others.
Fathers as Role Models
Fathers serve as role models to both their sons and daughters. A son learns how to be a man from watching his father. He learns how to be a mature adult, a husband and a father. Sons learn how a man can use his strength, not to bully and intimidate others, but to help others. Daughters watch how their fathers treat their mothers, and others in the family. A father’s attitude toward and treatment of women influences a daughter’s self-image and how a daughter will relate to the men in her life.
When parents are no longer together, and teens live with their mothers, their fathers can still be present in their lives by spending time with their teens when possible, and staying in contact when they’re apart. If you can’t visit with your child then call, text, email, video chat – let them know you are interested in their lives and they have your continued love and support. Even from a distance, a father’s love, support, and communication are important to a teen.
Yet even when a father is a caring and loving role model for his child, teens still get into trouble or have behavioral, emotional, or psychological problems. Continue to express your love and concern for your child. Get help from professionals for your teen and for your entire family. If your teen is at a therapeutic boarding school, know that you have made a loving and caring decision to get him or her the help they need in a place that is safe, and with professionals that know how to deal with these issues. You’re sacrificing now so that they can have a better future.
Kids of all ages need fathers, or father figures in their lives. Whether you can be with your children or not on Father’s Day, keep letting them know you love them. Remember that you play a significant role in the life of your teen, and you have an influence on the adult he or she will become. Thanks, Dad. Have a Happy Father’s Day.