For the healthy development of a child, the love of the mother and the discipline of the father are required,” said Swami Chinmayananda, the world-renowned spiritual guru.
A few weeks ago in the same column, I had written on Mother’s Day. And let us not neglect the contribution of fathers who play a big role in the bringing up of the children. So, on Father’s Day today, let us say a big ‘thank you’ to all the fathers for their commitments to their family.
Traditionally, in the role of parenting, mothers were the soft-side who cared, nurtured and fed the children. Fathers were the strict disciplinarian whom everyone looked up to with fear; the one who had the punishment rod.
Over the years, the father’s role has changed. While mothers have started working and also taking up leadership roles, fathers are entering the kitchen, helping children in their studies and attending parent-teacher meetings in school.
Today, a father also has to think like a mother, develop emotional intelligence and make sure fatherhood is a mix of traditional and modern-day approaches.
Interestingly, Chanakya spoke about ‘sensitivity’ being a part of fatherhood to understand others better. And that too as a leadership quality to be developed by his students.
“He (leader) should, like a father, show favours to those whose exemptions have ceased.” (2.1.18)
The king has the power to go beyond rules and grant exemptions. The leader can also give favours when everything else fails. For example, even the hardest criminal facing death punishment can be given a presidential pardon.
Chanakya is training the leaders to develop decision-making ability. And when people come to ask for favours, the right decisions have to be taken. So, all fathers who are decision-makers should use both the ‘head’ and the ‘heart’. Such fathers are not only loved, but also respected.
As family members, let us not forget their role in keeping the family together. Here are some insights to help you understand the fathers and grandfathers in your family.
1. They are emotional
It is a normal assumption that men are emotionally strong and women are weak. But, the reality is the opposite. Women appear emotional as they cry and express their feelings easily. But women are more emotionally stable and strong.
Men appear strong since they are taught not to cry and express their emotions. But, they are emotional and mostly never get a chance to express their feelings.
This social norm has to change for the good of all. We need to accept that a man crying is normal. Strength comes from expressing emotions, not hiding them. So, if you find your father crying silently, don’t say, “As a man, you are supposed to be strong.”
2. Give them space
In the book, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, author John Gary deals in detail about the different psychology between men and women.
While going through any challenge, women prefer to speak to others and get solutions (that is why they are on the phone talking to friends and family). While, men prefer to stay silent and deep dive into themselves. This is something many don’t understand.
Giving men space is one of the ways of appreciating them. They require time to let their mind calm down, without discussing too much. Men have different ways to give an outlet to their thoughts. Painting, singing and even arranging things in their house... Just let them loose.
My father, my role model is a writer and till date, expresses himself through his amazing writings. When he writes, we in the family know that it is his personal time to be respected.
Don’t worry, it is not a permanent state. Men will come back from their cocoon and start talking to you.
3. They also love gifts
We all love gifts. Fathers are not excluded. Usually, men are not the shoppers of the house. And if you ask them what they want for a gift, they do not feel too excited about the offer. And they may not have too many choices.
Yet, they too like being shopped for. They love unwrapping a gift. You can be sure it will make them smile. Make sure the gift has utility value.
I always say: “A father is someone you look up to, no matter how tall you grow.”
(The writer is Founder Director of Chanakya Aanvikshiki Pvt Ltd, a best selling author and an expert on Chanakya’s teachings. He can be followed on his twitter @rchanakyapillai)
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)