Yesterday, Saturday, was my last day for the Module on Family Involvement under Dr. Christine Chen. She handed us an article from Early Childhood Education Journal titled Don't Shut Fathers Out by Eugenia Hepworth Berger. As Dr Chen discussed the article, the three prominent fathers I know came to my mind: my own father, my husband, and my SIL. Their faces flashed on my mind what more when Dr. Chen quoted, “Let fathers enjoy what they’re doing best.” And yeah, why would we not allow fathers to do their best especially for the family, the children in particular?
I remember my own father (Bless his soul!) Oh, I was not privileged to be close to him. For all my life how I ached that he’d show me the love and care I wanted to feel. I learnt in the process the fact that he did love me in his own way.
I could not comprehend then why a former municipal mayor would opt to stay at home and just cook for his wife and younger children when he can do something more. As I mature, I learnt to appreciate him. And Dr Chen just reminded me how wonderful my father was. For how many fathers around during those times, especially a highest official in his own town, would opt to be a house husband and tend to his children?
My own husband is also a great father, I can say. During our early years, whenever around, he would do household chores and help with feeding and bathing our kids. He also tutored our kids. Now that my children are grown ups, he still help in household chores. Sometimes, I wonder why a man like him, a manager in his own right, would still cook or clean the house. How lucky I am.
My son-in-law is also the same. After his work, he would also help my daughter in cleaning the house and in taking care of their 3 kids. What was so heartwarming when I stayed with them for a while was that it was my SIL who checked every hour the twin’s and the baby’s diapers and saw to it that diapers are changed every 2 to 3 hours.
I can say that I am what I am now for having a father like my own father. My daughters grew up to be good persons and successful professionals because of my husband’s personal touch. I am sure my three grand kids will grow up to be good persons too because they have the privelege to have a nurturing father. In addition, I am sure that my father enjoyed what he did, the same as my husband and SIL are also enjoying what they are doing up to now.
Therefore, as an educator of young children, I must encourage fathers to get involved with their own children so they will recognize their importance. I have to provide opportunities for fathers to be involved with their children’s activities. I can even provide fathers with information on child development. It is now a well known fact that fathers who are positively involved with their children, enhance their children's emotional and intellectual skills to the fullest. Just look at me, (ahem!) and look at my daughters (more ahem!!) Kidding aside, we must not shut fathers out. They have unique contribution to young children's development in all aspects. I guarrantee you that!