Fathers, like mothers, are irreplaceable. They have a significant impact in the growth and emotional development of their children, daughters and sons alike.

Many fathers tend to underestimate the power of their love and support, encouragement and presence in the lives of their child or children. Often it is because they been conditioned to believe that a father’s value depends on being a superhero who fixes all problems, and sweeps away all heartache. For generations, however, these unfair expectations have kept fathers separated from – relationships – the heart of matters in the home.

A father sees the aspiring hero in the child.

Both sons and daughters may want to see their Dad as a hero, just as much if not more, however, they want to see a reflection of themselves as heroes in their Dad’s eyes.

The open expression of thoughts and feeling is a hallmark of healthy family relationships, and the heart of a home is all about relationships, emotional connection, understanding and acceptance, in other words, the real stuff of live – love.

Speaking of unfair, when fathers are not aware of the need to be emotionally present and engaging, children may not benefit from some of the best that a father’s example has to offer.

Invaluable!

Certain qualities that fathers represent and model are invaluable, for example, ones that teach us to stand up for and to believe in ourselves and our dreams, ones that inspire us to never give up and to muster the strength to face our fears with courage. Fathers often model and energize a strong and healthy sense of self, agency, determination, and momentum to make things happen. That’s invaluable!

Endearing!

And yes, even when fathers are imperfect, that’s fine too. In fact, that’s endearing! Being down to earth, helps us to own our mistakes, and to take responsibility. It also reminds us that excellence, and not perfection is our goal – and, more importantly, that mistakes are an integral part of learning and reaching for our dreams and aspirations.

So what are the qualities of fathers that contribute to the emotional health and wellness of their children?

Here are twelve invaluable and, or endearing qualities, along with quotes designed to inspire.

1.   Dependable.

They can be counted on to be there for their family through thick and thin.

“Any fool can be a Father, but it takes a real man to be a Daddy.”
~ PHILIP WHITMORE, SR.

2.   Involved.

They are personally engaged in their children’s lives, interests, dreams and aspirations on a daily basis.

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.”
~ WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

3.   Compassionate.

They show compassion, hope and belief when a child most needs encouragement.

“To her the name of father was another name for love.”
~ FANNY FERN

4.   Valuing of mother.

They respect and value their children’s mother, and in general think highly of women (as they do men).

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
~ HENRY WARD BEECHER

5.   Empathic.

They listen empathically to understand and are present, and engaged in the moment.

“Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.”
~ BILL COSBY

6.   Verbally expressive.

They clearly communicate and uphold guidelines, are tough yet fair, without belittling or controlling.

You taught me by example, as a role model, how to be my own person, how to believe in myself, instructing me without controlling me.
~ JOANNA FUCHS

7.   Human.

They own their mistakes and are open to feedback, and teach that growing and stretching is a lifelong endeavor for young and old alike.

“Fathers, like mothers, are not born. Men grow into fathers – and fathering is a very important stage in their development.” ~  DAVID M. GOTTESMAN

8.   Honest.

They teach values for honesty and integrity by living them.

“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” ~ C.B KELLAND

9.   Playful.

They delight in their children, and love to have fun and play.

“There’s a magic moment sent down from the sky. Descending so stealthily, it almost passes me by. …Come, play with me. Your presence is requested at a banquet for a bear.”  ~ WARREN THROCKMORTON  (Poem: Play With Me)

10. Industrious.

They model a healthy work ethic, and they enjoy their work (unlike Abe’s Dad) as a source of personal accomplishment and satisfaction.

“My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it.” ~ ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Fathers make an important difference in the lives of their children, one can never underestimate the power of loving, involved and engaging Dad. They really matter in big and small ways.