"Do You Carry Your Father Around?"
There is a belief adopted by many people that the human behavior is somehow programmed genetically. Regardless the information is right or wrong, it is true that we as human beings are programmed by the way our parents raise us and rather what we learn in schools. We are in an ongoing journey of learning what is right and what is wrong through socialization in different roles; parents, siblings, friends, relatives, teachers, partners, bosses – they all have a say and an influence in shaping our views of what is right and what is wrong.
Curiosity is a common trait in most children. They rather observe and explore the little changes in their environment to further expand their experiences and learn more and even more. While some parents encourage such curiosity and act like catalysts to stimulate the learning encounters; other parents may be concerned with dealing with unknown experiences, which leads them to restrict their children’s curious efforts to stay put in the area where they know everything.
While Father’s Day celebrations around the world are looming, it is important to verify and contemplate the role that fathers play in shaping the future of their children. Ranging from being rewarded on doing what is right and punished for doing what is wrong to leading the way through exemplary and coaching methods, lies the role of a father.
Fathers’ involvement in the early stages assures a healthy and steady progress in both genders’ adolescence; that is, girls are predicted to achieve academically, and boys are less likely to adopt risky behavior. The early involvement’s effect starts in the very early stages. A father’s prenatal involvement is shown to be as important as the postnatal involvement; i.e., attending ultrasound visits has positive impact in the bonds built between both parents, and the father-child future relation. As well, a father’s engagement in a child’s life at an early stage helps develop the child’s linguistic skills as fathers have different speech patterns than mothers.
As the effect of active fatherhood is quite apparent, it extends beyond the immediate childhood and adolescence stages. Men who had a great share of their fathers being involved and around, turn out to be involved and effective fathers with children of their own. The effect also appears in their ability to balance work demands with fatherhood duties.1
As the renowned psychologist Dr. Brian Schwartz, PhD, proposes that the influence of the parental style extends to the work place, where the boss and co-workers operate as a family. Self-esteem plays a pivotal role in achieving different career successes; and the level of self-esteem is a reflection of the parental style(s) one was subject to. Talent can be an evident factor, however, if not fortified with self-esteem, the tendencies become rather self-destructive.
In this sense, it is recommended that one envisages the following to not carry the father baggage around in the work place:
- Commit to oneself to value change as a constant process
- Deepen the self-awareness through internal dialogues, assessments, and analysis
- Identifying one’s triggers and figure out ways to contain them
- Accept that failures may occur; so, do not let that hinder your ongoing changing process
- Figure out and identify your father’s parenting style so you can better handle the effects
- Build your own support system; family, friends, work, professional help, or life coaching
- Determine your own priorities and goals in life and seek towards them
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