The moment you’ve dreamed of is so close you can almost touch it. Your diligence and patience throughout the adoption process has paid off, and you’re finally able to make plans to pick your child up from the hospital. At last, you’re about to enter the realm of fatherhood!
While you’re happy and impatient to welcome your child into his or her new home, you also feel the immense pressure and anxiousness of becoming a dad. Reality is setting in as you realize the important role fathers play in their children’s lives. It’s one that cannot be filled by another, and, as an adoptive dad, you have a large impact on your child. You help shape him or her into the person he or she will one day become. Knowing this, you want to be the best influencer you’re capable of being.
You’re doing great so far! Adoption Choices of Colorado wants you to know that it’s okay to be hesitant and even scared. Becoming a father is a great honor. Let us help by giving you the reassurance you need. We’ve come up with a list of traits all good dads possess, and we hope it helps ease your mind!
THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF DAD
Both parents are very important. Typically, mothers do more nurturing, while fathers tend to be more involved in play. Nevertheless, modern day fathers do much more hands-on caregiving now than they did generations ago — changing diapers, getting up at night, taking children to the doctor, sharing drop-offs and pick-ups, and helping with homework.
Fathers are pillars in the development of a child’s emotional well-being. Children look to their fathers to lay down the rules and enforce them. They also look to their fathers to provide a feeling of security, both physically and emotionally. Children want to make their fathers proud, and an involved father promotes inner growth and strength. Studies have shown that when fathers are affectionate and supportive, it greatly affects a child’s cognitive and social development. It also instills an overall sense of well-being and self-confidence.
Fathers also set the standard for the healthy development of children. Fathers not only influence who their children are inside, but how their children have relationships with people as they grow. The way a father treats his child will influence what he or she looks for in other people. Friends, lovers, and spouses will all be chosen based on how the child perceived the meaning of the relationship with his or her father. The patterns a father sets in the relationships with his children will dictate how his children relate with other people.
As an adoptive father, you know that anyone can father a child, but being a dad takes a lifetime. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of a dad.
TRAITS OF A FATHER
Obviously no two fathers are alike — their style is a blend of their unique personalities and strengths — but good fathers do have certain traits in common. Here are some of the better ways to approach fatherhood:
Be a wall of trust and security. Children believe that their father is always right. Make a conscious effort to never lie to them, betray them, or leave them in the lurch. This is the trust a good father builds in his child. As an adoptive father, you need to make a strong effort to always be there for your child. With this sense of security, you child will more easily come to you when he or she wants help or is in trouble.
Make time for your family. Single, married, or in a partnership, you need to make time for those you care for. Setting aside time to focus on your family is imperative to everyone’s overall happiness, including your own. It’s not enough to meet the basic necessities your child requires; you have to bond with him or her. Don’t be afraid to let your child know how much he or she means to you.
Be patient and encouraging. A good father doesn’t jump into his immediate emotions. He is patient. Give your child your undivided attention and try to understand things from his or her perspective. After all, you are your child’s source of encouragement. You are happiest when they succeed, and you are the one who will make them strive better if they fail. Your words make a world of difference to your child, for they have the power to make or break him or her.
Practice self-care, and use humor. Fathers who master balanced lifestyles are able to establish healthy patterns. This allows them to accept martyrdom as the price of parenting. Make sure to incorporate self-care strategies and humor into your daily life. Regular evenings and occasional weekends away can help you gain perspective, regroup, and come back to the family with renewed energy.
PERFECT DOESN’T EXIST
There’s no absolute answer for the rights and wrongs of fatherhood. You have to figure out what works best for you and your family, so don’t fret it you think you don’t possess one or any of the traits we listed. You’ve got this!
Adoption Choices of Colorado knows parenthood is all about learning as you go. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be more than worth it.
Adoption Choices of Colorado
For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.
Make an Impact
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Patience Bramlett, a University of Southern Mississippi news editorial graduate, is a seasoned and award-winning freelance writer. She is also a passionate reader, whose only wish is to live life without fear of the unknown. Her motivation and inspiration to live her best life stems from the words of John Lennon:
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
This year, she’s joining Adoption Choices Inc. as an Editorial Intern. Fueled by her love of family, she hopes to educate those looking to grow their families through adoption.
When Patience is not exploring Colorado with her husband, she’s drinking coffee, forever figuring out how to tame her hair, growing her library, and trying to break into the publishing career.
Gross, Gail. “The Important Role of Dad.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 12 June 2014, www.huffpost.com/entry/the-important-role-of-dad_n_5489093.
Krisch, Joshua. “Fatherhood Changes Men’s Brains and Bodies Forever.” Fatherly, 27 Dec. 2018, www.fatherly.com/health-science/dad-psychology-science-fatherhood/.
Rosenberg, Jeffre, and Bradford Wilcox. “The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children.” US Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.
“The Changing Role of the Modern-Day Father.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/changing-father.
Vallotton, Claire, and Andy Henion. “Dads Play Key Role in Child Development.” MSUToday, 14 July 2016, msutoday.msu.edu/news/2016/dads-play-key-role-in-child-development/.