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Family is an assembly of people who have marital relation 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 the family in order to create 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, but it does not mean that the man’s role is just to support the family in financing, building the house, providing settlement then living all the rest of the family’s duties to the woman to do all the household chores such as raising children or house caring, the man and the woman have to share with each other about every aspect of living life and family’s side. Being a man of the family is not a simple thing, he has to show all of his strengths to build up his family which 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, “a successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person”. 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 willing to share with her all problems in life, like Zig Ziglar (also known as Hilary Hinton Ziglar) said before: “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, richness or healthy in the church. So, we can easily see that love is the first requirement of being a husband. The husband needs to give his wife the love and regards her like a woman and a person, not a maid for free in the house. Intense love, compassion, altruism, understanding of the husband is the thing woman wants the most. A man who has a warm heart, always opens his mind to listen to his wife is an ideal husband. Listening and understanding is always the important thing to do for his wife because “Shared joy is a double joy, shared sorrow is half a sorrow” said by Swedish Proverb. Woman loves by eyes and ears, thus she will be very happy when she gets a good compliment from the husband. When the wife feels happy, she will do everything to make her family become happier and happier, fully filled with love.
Dividing the responsibilities in a family is different, depend on the culture. For instance, it is common for a Japanese household that the husband is the one who goes to work, giving financial support for the whole family, while the wife usually retreats from her previous work, willingly take care of all the house chores and raising children. Rarely, the husband will do some part of the chores when he feels like to, or under “pressure” from other parties (his spouse, children, etc.). In this situation, the man of the family becomes the main financial provider. In the modern life, other “hard works”, such as fixing or maintaining the house’s equipments can be done by paying to a third party service, thus making money becomes the most important assignment that the man has to concentrate on.
Aside from that, the man in the house must also have well personality, good insight and knowledgeable. Moreover, contributing to the emotional, spiritual, physical and mental well-being of his family are all necessary. In order to do this, he must recognise that there are other elements other than money are needed to be provided. The man mainly takes this part in family’s duties.
When the need of love and financial are fulfilled, the woman will need a strong man to protect her family. That is an important duty of the husband. Not only protecting the family, the man should also be the first one to solve all the problems. That does not mean that the husband is the only one who has to do all the problem-solving part, but that he should do it instead of waiting for his partner to ask for help or push him up. A role-model husband is not the one who knows everything or does everything, but the one who has the ability to balance every duty, giving it the most suitable priority.
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 similar to 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. Become a mother is a proof of how the feminine she is already. 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.
Furthermore, children are always longed more love and care, and will easily get jealous if they see that they are not getting as much attention as other kids. Whenever they see other children’s fathers sending them to school, or playing sport together, immediately there will be countless questions arise in the lonely child mind: “Do I have a father? Who is my father? Why had he never appeared in my life?” As the consequence, all that questions will be turned to the mother, which will surely be in an uncomfortable situation when being asked like that. At that time, is there any explanation that understand able to the children without hurting them, or will other lies be given that put the children in deeper confusion?
A life without a man in the family will cause many difficulties to the woman. For now 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. On the contradict, many single mothers having trouble balancing the duties all at once. Hence, 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. Taking care of the children must not come from the though that is it the duty as the parents, but from the immeasurable and unconditional love to their blood related children.
Educating the kids is not an individual task. It must be done by both the parents, taken will well care and be treasured. Children are especially sensitive, and always eager to learn new things from the world. Every little thing from the outer environment will affect their perspective, which decides the children’s behaviour when they grow up. They will just simply mimic all what they think that are interesting. The worst thing is, the actions that the children try to mimic may not be all right. Supposedly there may be bad behaviours such as bullying or pick pocketing. As time goes by, they will consider that those actions are the righteous, without regarding its true meaning. Therefore, as the nearest source of affection the children, parents always have to act as role model, not only while teaching their kid, but in everyday actions. Similar to growing a tree, if well tended had not been taken since it was a seed, the tree might 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. Soon enough, that man will spread his hobby to the next generation, when he starts having family on his own. In the family of the arguing type, where parents always shout at each other for every trivial, the children will pick up that pattern, and become ill-mannered in no time. That cycle will continue for ever, until there are changes in the new family.
However, that does not mean that any successful man will also success in being a father. Sometime, the man’s mind sways away with his busy career, thus forgetting his duty as a father, neglecting his responsibility of teaching the kids. Only when he is at the top of the career ladder, and his children have already on the completely wrong track, he will realise his own carelessness. Therefore, it is necessary for the man to balance between the family and the job.
For a girl, the father is usually taken as the model for her boy friend or future life partner. If the relationship between father and daughter is close and they often have conservations together, the girl will be more confident in choosing boyfriend, better understanding of the opposite gender, thus avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary worries. As a female, when the girl gets dressed, she wants to be the centre of the attentions, so if the father can understand and commend on her dresses, it will affect to her way of dressing and living and then leading to a familiar life suitable to her family and society.
A boy always has his secret which is not easy to say out and he is easy to be influent by his friends’ bad habits, if he has a good guider who encourage his mind and knowledge, he will be prevented from the wrong way in his life. And the boy is deeply getting his father character’s effect. If a boy grow up without a father, he cannot get along well with all the boy’s problems, mother cannot share all the secrets with her son. Boys are more difficult, they often act like his father does.
In conclusion, the man in the family plays a very important role in the family. He has to perform the duty of not only the husband, the father but also the mental leader. As a husband, he has to understands and sympathises 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. It is not easy to perform all those tasks perfectly simultaneously, but with a strong heart and a clear determination, nothing is impossible.
Cohen D., 2001, “The father’s book :being a good dad in the 21st century”, Wileys, ISBN: 0470841338
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
Garfield C. F., Issaco A., “Fathers and the Well-Child Visit”, PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 No. 4 April 2006, pp. e637-e645
Garner P., & Clough P., 2008, “Fathers and sons: in and about education”, Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books Ltd., ISBN: 9781858563701
Gilbert L. A., Rachlin V., 1987, “Mental health and psychological functioning of dual-career families”, The Counseling Psychologist 15 (1987), pp. 7-49.
Katiereich, 7-7-2009, “Support the man in your life” [Online resource], reference link: http://missionalwife.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/support-the-man-in-your-life/, last accessed 16-04-2010
McGrail A., 1996, “Becoming a family (National Childbirth Trust Guide)”, Stationery Office Books, ISBN: 0117019348
Michael D., 1999, “The name assigned to the document by the author. This field may also contain sub-titles, series names, and report numbers.Parenting and Child Development in “Nontraditional” Families”, Publisher name and contact information, as provided by the publisher; updated only if notified by the publisher.Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, ISBN: 0-8058-2748-X
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