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International Men’s Day: How to Dad

International Men’s Day observed on November 19 focuses on men’s health, improving gender relations, highlighting male role models, and promoting positive expressions of masculinity. Photo: vietreader

International Men’s Day observed on November 19 focuses on men’s health, improving gender relations, highlighting male role models, and promoting positive expressions of masculinity.

Observed on November 19th, International Men’s Day aims to improve men’s health, improve gender relations, spotlight male role models, and encourage positive displays of masculinity.

This is a chance for people of goodwill all around the world to show their appreciation for and honor the contributions that men make to society.

Men, as fathers, undertake an enormous role to nurture children who are expected to become upright citizens.

The comedian Jimmy Kimmel spent a segment of his show exploring the topic of “how to dad” a few years ago, in anticipation of the arrival of his daughter. During a series of interviews with a group of 6-year-olds, Kimmel discovered some important aspects of parenting, such as “don’t swear” and the correct way to change a diaper.

There were several interpretations of what is expected to be the duty of the father. Everything from how to change diapers to how not to curse is covered (swear, Insult).

The role of the father shifts with each society, albeit the exact nature of these shifts is dependent on the new understanding of what it means to be a father in each community.

As much as religion differs with various ways of how one spiritual life is expected to be, most religions have the same roles required for a father:

In Hinduism, for example, fatherhood is revered as a sacred institution. Along with the enormous burden of providing sustenance and safety for their children, dads have the additional obligation of ensuring that their children grow up healthy and happy. A parent is also charged with the extremely important responsibility of assisting in the spiritual growth of his kid.

The position of a father in the family is extremely important in Christianity also. This man is called upon to be the family’s leader and defender, and he is also called upon to be a living example of Christ’s love by showing compassion to the children’s mother. He is also expected to remain steadfast in his religion and to raise his children to recognize the difference between good and wrong.

In Islam, a father’s role at home is to offer a calm and loving atmosphere that is conducive to the spiritual and moral development of his children, to teach sound religious and moral principles, and to plant seeds of social consciousness and compassion in his children’s hearts.

In the Talmud, there is a passage that explains literally what a father should do for his child after birth, and it reads as follows: The father is required to circumcise his son; to redeem him [referring to the first-born son, as per the Biblical passages in Numbers 18: 15-16]; to teach him Torah; to ensure that he marries, and to teach him a trade. Some believe he should also teach him how to swim.

However, regardless of how the role of the father is perceived, whether in a religious or social setting, the fundamental functions of the father remain the same; to look after and provide for (anything).

Fathers remain the same

Assuming that someone else will be in charge of moulding society into what is expected of it, establishing a spiritual relationship, and ensuring peace, love, and happiness, this is a monumental undertaking.

Fathers have received criticism for ostensibly abdicating their responsibilities, which may be true in many cases, but to those who have remained true to the title of father, I say Kudos.

When a father understands that he has contributed to producing another human being, his primary concern is to safeguard the child’s health, safety, and well-being at all costs.

In order to provide for his child’s basic necessities, a father will look for work and work hard to get it.

It is expected that a father will devote time to his child. For him, it means he frequently gives up his plans to spend time with his child. 

When necessary, a father will discipline his child. For one thing, being a good parent is about encouraging independence and resilience in children. Given the prejudices associated with women being overly supportive parents, it’s possible that this is a good counterweight that results in flawless parenting.

So, to those fathers, I proudly say Happy Men’s Day. And may you have many more in good health.

Writing and Editing by Saadatu Albashir