The Joy of Fatherhood


Father’s Day is just around the corner. To all the fathers in the world, congratulations! At least you still have time to read my article. Fatherhood has always been challenging and I can tell you that from experience.

It’s still fresh in my memory when my eldest child, immediately after she was born, held my hand for the first time as she showered me with her sweet smile. That was an exhilarating experience . . . and yet that golden moment introduced me to fatherhood. I felt like I was in heaven for a while.

I’ve been a father now for 15 years and it can be tough at times. But overall, it’s been a rewarding journey. It’s been an enjoyable, exciting ride! Believe it or not, I still smile simply because I’ve considered my children as precious gifts unmatched by any gold or treasures in the world.

They’ve given me much joy. Now, I’ve given them back what they rightfully deserve. Allow me to share with you (all the fathers out there) what I’ve committed to do.

As a father, you should commit to four selfless acts so your children can reach their full potential.

Set house rules

If you want peacefulness and camaraderie to reign in your household, establish house rules right away. Let your children know the dos and don’ts when they’re old enough to understand. Instill discipline and be consistent and firm. Don’t change your rules simply because they are inconvenient. Avoid favoritism by letting one child get away with some rules. Encourage responsibility and accountability by showing that infractions have corresponding consequences.

Show your love

Shower your children will love. Laughter, hugs, and kisses should be part of your daily routine. Provide advice. Give comfort and security. Let excitement and surprises abound. Let them laugh. As a father, you decide the predominant mood in your household. Do you want your home to be happy? Or sad, anxious, or distressed? You have a choice. You have the power to create the emotional tone.

Instill hope

Let your children feel important. Let them express their opinions, concerns, emotional hurts, sources of excitement, and goals. Let them feel good not only about their present but also about their tomorrow. Instill optimism by focusing on positive, uplifting developments rather on discouraging ones. Cultivate a positive attitude by focusing on their skills, talents, and victories rather than on their weaknesses and defeats. Always put them on a pedestal.

Create a mission

Your mission is not just to feed, shelter, and clothe your children. Your mission is to create opportunity, to guide them in finding their passion, to teach them so they can gain wisdom and build character. Your mission is to show them the right path and help find their wings so they can thrive and . . . fly.

Growing up in the Philippines, we didn’t have much. But my father gave me something that I will always treasure. During our long walks in the field together, Papa instilled in me confidence and positive mind-set. He made me believe in myself. As early as age ten, he was already sure that I’d be a physician someday.

He showed me that in life we have only two choices — to either progress or regress, to either add or subtract, to either succeed or fail. For him, the choice is clear.

He showed me the importance of education. In fact, he implanted in me that education is more valuable than money. He expressed, “Nobody can steal your degree away from you. Once you attain it, you’ll own it forever.” This is an advice from a man who never had a degree and despite his meager income, put all of his children to university.

When he visited Clarenville last June 2007, I was thrilled to be with him once again. I was glad that after many years, I could finally thank him for all his sacrifices and for all the life lessons he selflessly shared.

While walking on the beach one summer day, the right moment I’d been waiting for came. And then I finally uttered, “Thank you Papa for what you did to me. Without your sacrifice, I’d be pushing a cart with an empty stomach.”

His response was unexpected but powerful. “It wasn’t me at all. It was all because of you. I’m just glad you’ve helped yourself.” Slowed down by old age, he remained committed to give his son confidence and self-respect.

Fatherhood is both a journey and a destination. After all, once you become a father you will always be one regardless of the circumstance. Make the best of it, take it seriously, and have fun!



fatherhood-571395.html”>Source by Michael G. Rayel

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