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Letter: A father's love

Kuklok writes, "When the child starts to show signs of their identity and independence, the mother’s love becomes secondary to the father's."

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A father’s love is especially important to the healthy upbringing of a child. A father’s love will instill confidence, a sense of worth, and acceptance into a child’s heart. A father’s love will give a child permission to freely express himself or herself. If a child knows they are accepted by their father, they will not need validation from the world (school, friends, etc.).

A father’s love does not take away from the importance of the mother’s love, but the father’s love is more important because he is the leader of the household. Being the man, a father is not supposed to be affectionate or compassionate. The father today is supposed to be “tough” and not show emotion. Men are not supposed to cry and give hugs, but to protect the family, put food on the table and teach sports. But I will tell you that, to an adolescent, a father’s embrace is very needed and valuable in the emotional development of a child.

A child knows that the dad is supposed to be “macho” and show no emotion, so when they do show emotion, there must be good reason. How important is it for a child to know in their heart of hearts that they are loved by their father. When their father hugs them, spends quality time with them, and expresses his love for them, the child feels wanted and cherished because they know that the father had to be vulnerable to express his love.

A mother does not have a problem with showing emotion. For women, it is socially acceptable to cry, hug, and say “I love you.” So, to a child, a mother’s love is seen as normal and obligatory since they gave birth to them. But when the father does express his love, the child knows they are important. They need that validation.

A mother’s love is more important in the initial stages of development. When a child is out of the womb, nursing, and still in the beginning stages of life, this love is most crucial up to the point of the emergence of the personality. When the child starts to show signs of their identity and independence, the mother’s love becomes secondary to the father's.

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The father, even in secular households, tends to be the head of the household. The child recognizes the father’s authority and puts more stock in the father’s opinion than the mother's. And if it is a spiritual household, the father’s example will be the frame of reference the child has when imagining their Heavenly Father.

How we see our earthy fathers will be a strong indicator of how we see God. If our earthly father is abusive, cut-off, distant, not a good provider, non-loving, and unforgiving, then we will think our Heavenly Father is like that as well.

Since God is our Abba, (Father) it is important our earthly fathers love, accept, and express love daily.

Mitchell Kuklok lives in Cooperstown, N.D.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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