“Daddy, can you carry me?” said my 3-year old daughter as I was trying to get her out the car. She wanted her daddy to do it, not me. This made me curious, although I heard before from my psychology professor that daughters of her age would prefer their dad over their mom. I feel jealous in a way, to think she’s with me all day, but more than jealousy, I feel envy. I feel envious of their bond, and it made me wonder what I could have become if I had a dad.
Growing up, I didn’t have a dad, and I know somehow, this has affected my life. I sometimes wonder how I would see growth if I had a dad. Could I have been smarter, braver, and stronger? These are common traits of a father, and I know somehow could have influenced me as an individual. I know I am not an expert, but I have experienced growing up without a father, and this somehow brings truth to what I have to say.
Growing up with a father affects specific values and elements of life such as:
As I was teaching her to ride a bike, she continuously hesitated. She seemed scared and didn’t want to follow my instructions. When her daddy came and started talking her in, she began to look confident and determined. Somehow when her daddy said, “you can do it,” she believed she could, so she did.
Edward Kruk Ph.D. says that “the research evidence linking children’s well-being to paternal presence, and the devastating effects of father-child estrangement on children, has become more robust in documenting and recognizing the unique and irreplaceable role that fathers play in their children’s lives.”
Some father can be harsh and strict that some of us may take it the wrong way, but if you think about it, having someone severe and stern in life could mean you’ll have someone to make sure you are doing things right. You’ll have someone to make sure you’re not going to mess up, and if you do, he’ll always have your back.
On her third birthday, we went swimming and how she loves swimming. I put her on her favorite swimsuit, and she was so excited. She ran and went straight to grab her daddy’s hand, “Daddy, come on, come on!” We went swimming, and I somehow felt jealous again, but I thought I was overreacting. They were swimming quite a while, and he wanted to dive so he told her, “Can you go with your mom for a while. I’ll just go dive.” “Don’t leave me, dad. I’m going to drown.”
Fathers are projected as strong and brave. They are the protector and savior. Somehow, I saw this in my daughter’s eyes. I don’t mind because I know how much she loves me, and it’s me she looks for when she wakes up in the morning. It’s just that she searches for her dad in situations where she needs a protector, a savior. “There is no question that fathers do play an important part in their children’s lives: the majority of studies affirm that an involved father can play a crucial role, particularly in the cognitive, behavioral, and general health and well-being areas of a child’s life;” explains Ditta M. Oliker Ph.D.
Daughters will grow up and get married. I did. I don’t regret anything because I’m happy with my life, but sometimes, it makes me wonder maybe I got married later or could having a father growing up affected my choices in life, my profession or the man I married perhaps?
Values and ideals in life are first learned inside the house, from our parents. The father is the head of the family, and this could teach us leadership and responsibility. Peter B. Gray Ph.D. emphasizes that “There are plenty of families in which fathers aren’t actively involved and a variety of family configurations.” But he adds that, “Paternal contributions can have consequences for children.”
I might have questions about what I could have been as a person if I grew up with my dad. There are sure many advantages, or there could also be disadvantages, I wouldn’t know. Not all dads are the same, but one thing’s for sure, we’re all here because of our dads. That’s already something, and growing up with or without one is an advantage or a disadvantage that’s for us to tell.