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Family is an assembly of people who have marital relationship and blood related individuals, living under the same roof. A group of many families living together is considered a society. In other words, family is a cell of a modern society. Each and every individual has the responsibility of building up a happy family. In the current world, the man plays a very special role which affects not only his current family but also later generations.
There is a saying in Vietnamese: “Men are the ones who build the house, while women are the one who create the home”. We can see that the man is always the strong one, who does the heaviest work for his family. However, it does not mean that the man’s role is just to support the family financially, building the house or providing settlement. In contrast, the man should also help the woman’s duties such as raising children or doing house works. In my opinion, being a man of the family is not a simple job because he has to use as much of his strength as possible to build up his family. Hence, it seems to be a difficult work for all men in the world.
Marriage is a combination of the man and the woman, according to Mignon McLaughlin, an American journalist and author, “a successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person” (Quotation #31121 from Laura Moncur’s Motivational Quotations). To become the man of the family, firstly, he has to be a good husband. A good husband is the man who understands his wife’s needs and wants. Any woman wants her husband to be a successful man and always share with her all problems in life. Zig Ziglar (also known as Hilary Hinton Ziglar) said: “Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side”.
For the Christians, when a man and a woman are getting married, they always promise to love each other forever and be side by side through sickness, poverty, even the hardest times of life. Therefore, we can easily see that love is the first requirement of being a husband. The husband needs to give his wife the love and to regard her like his most important property, not a maid for free in the house. Intense love, compassion, altruism, understanding from the husband is the thing woman wants the most. I think a man should open his mind to listen to his wife because that’s one of the moral standards. Listening and understanding is always the important thing to do for his wife. According to Swedish Proverb, “Shared joy is a double joy, and shared grief is half the grief”. As we may know, a woman loves by eyes and ears, thus she will be very happy when she gets a good compliment from the husband. In addition, when the wife feels happy, she will do everything to make her family become happier and happier. Therefore, I believe sharing with woman can help man build up a happy family much easier. “Displaying your love and respect to your wife, the mother of your children, is a clear demonstration about how to love and respect important people in their lives.” (Mark Greenfield, “Becoming a perfect father”)
Dividing the responsibilities in a family depends on cultures. For example, it is common for some household that the husband is the only one who goes to work and gives financial support for the whole family, while the wife takes care of all the house works and raises children. Rarely, the husband will do some part of the chores when he feels like it. In this situation, the man of the family becomes the main financial provider. However, in some other families, many “hard works” such as fixing or maintaining the house’s equipments can be done by paying a third party service. Hence, making money becomes the most important assignment that the man has to concentrate on. Because making money is a busy and tense work, a man sometimes forgets to do other activities with his wife and children such as: go to a base ball game, or spending an hour to help his wife washing the dishes. As a result, it is one of the reasons which make family members often separate from each other. Moreover, it is not a good situation at all and it must be changed. I personally think the man in the house must not only care about the financial support but also participate on other “family activities”. According to Dr. Phil McGraw, “if men want to be successful in their marriage and family life, they have to change and broaden their definition of what it means to be successful as a man. Being a good provider, protector, leader and teacher is a privilege that comes with responsibilities that many men aren’t aware of”.(The role of the man in the family)
Nowadays, there are many women choose to be single mothers. They are confident that even when lacking the support of the men, they can still be able to live well, raising the children to become good people without the need of their children’s father. However, that will not give the children all the care they need, as a proverb in Vietnamese: “the child without his/her father is like the house without its roof”. On the other hand, the mother cannot teach her child all the skills that the child’s father can do. No matter how masculine the woman is, there are always tasks that only men can do. How can she raise her son to become a real man, without the affection of all the feminine she has? And how can she give her precious girl a good imagine of the daughter’s future partner? They will just simply take all the trait of their only parent, thus hardening all the tasks on the mother, will may not relevant at early age, but become more clearly as they grow up.
A life without a man in the family will cause many difficulties to the woman. As the result, she will have to do all the house works, while taking care of the kids and keeping the family’s financial situation at an acceptable rate. How does she suppose to do all that jobs at the same time? If the woman is in a rich family, or she already has a well paying job, then the tasks can be less pressuring. However, those are only rare exceptions. In contrast, many single mothers having trouble balancing the duties all at once. Therefore, she will need a man to share all the weight on her shoulder in order to keep the family happy and affluent at all time. According to Census Bureau Reports, “in 2006, 12.9 million families in the U.S. were headed by a single-parent, 80% of which were headed by a female. Single parent families are at a higher risk of poverty than couple families, and on average single mothers have poorer health than couple. Single parenting is strongly associated with an increased risk of a number of negative social, behavioral and emotional outcomes for children.”
Educating the kids is not an individual task. In contrast, must be done by both the parents. Children are extremely sensitive, and always eager to learn new things from the world. Every little thing from the outer environment will affect their perspective. In addition, it will decide the children’s behaviour when they grow up. They will just simply mimic all what they think that are interesting. However, the actions that the children try to mimic may not be all right. Supposedly there may be bad behaviours such as bullying or stealing. As time goes by, they will consider that those actions are the righteous, without regarding its true meaning. Therefore, parents always have to act as role model, not only while teaching their kid, but in everyday actions. It’s similar to growing a tree, if we don’t take care enough since it was a seed, the tree will not give out its expected juicy fruit. For example, considering a family of the sporty type, in which there are many sports activities are done by both the father and the son. The boy will soon get the habit of doing sport, and keep practicing them when he grows up. Moreover, that man will spread his hobby to the next generation when he starts having family on his own. In the other hand, in the family of the arguing type, where parents always shout at each other, the children will be affected, and become mentally ill. That cycle will continue forever, until there are changes in the new family. However, that does not mean that any successful men can also success in being a father. Sometime, the man focuses his mind completely to his busy career, and then forgets his duty as a father. It will make some bad effects on the child. Therefore, I believe it’s important for the man to balance between his family and job. “Closeness to fathers during childhood is positively related to adult daughters’ and sons’ educational and occupational mobility and their psychological adjustment and well-being.” Amato, P.R. (1994) “Father-child relations, mother-child relations, and offspring psychological well-being in early adulthood”
In my opinion, father plays an important role in affecting teenagers’ personality. For example, the girls always use their fathers’ images as the model for their boy friend or future husband. If the relationship between father and daughter is close and they often have conservations together, the girl will be more confident in choosing boyfriend. When the girl has better understanding of the opposite gender, she can avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary worries. As a female, when the girl gets dressed, she wants to be the centre of the attentions. Therefore, if the father can understand and commend on her dresses, it will affect to her way of dressing and living. In other hand, a boy always has his secret which is not easy to say out. In addition, he is easy to be influent by his friends’ bad habits. Therefore, if he has a good guider who encourages his mind and knowledge, he will be prevented from the wrong way in his life. Furthermore, the boy will be deeply getting his father character’s effect.
“There is substantial involvement of fathers in a subset of this high-risk sample, although more than a quarter of the children lacked a father or father figure. The mere presence of a father did not significantly influence the neglect of the children; rather, the nature of his involvement did. Fathers who felt more effective as parents were less likely to have neglected their children. A greater sense of efficacy may reflect parenting skills and be important in enhancing the contribution of fathers to their children’s well-being.” – Dubowitz H., MD, MS; Black M.M., PhD; Kerr M.A., MS; 2000; “Father and Child Neglect”
In conclusion, the man plays a very important role in the family. He has to fulfill the duty of not only the husband, the father but also the mental leader. As a husband, he has to understand and sympathy with his wife, his soul-mate. As a father, he has the responsibility to teach his son and daughter the skills needed to become good people. As a mental leader, he has to remain calm and strong in any situations. However, it is not easy to perform all those tasks perfectly simultaneously, but with a strong heart and a clear determination, nothing is impossible.
Dubowitz H., MD, MS; Black M.M., PhD; Kerr M.A., MS; 2000; “Father and Child Neglect”; Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000; pp.154:135-141
Nord, Christine Winquist, “Father Involvement in Schools. ERIC Digets.”
Eirini Flouri and Ann Buchanan, “The Role of Father Involvement and Mother Involvement in Adolescents’ Psychological Well-being”, British Journal of Social Work (2003)
Mignon McLaughlin, quotation #31121, from “Laura Moncur’s Motivational Quotations”.
Zig Ziglar’s famous quotation from: www.famous-quotes-and-quotations.com/ marriage-quotes.html
Swedish Proverb, quotation from: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Swedish_proverbs#S
Amato, P.R. (1994) “Father-child relations, mother-child relations, and offspring psychological well-being in early adulthood”
Bergman, Mike (March 27, 2007). “Single-Parent Households Showed Little Variation Since 1994”. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-08-31
Dr Phil McGraw, “the role of the man in the family”
Mark Greenfield, “becoming a perfect father”
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