How the Father's Role has Changed in the Arab Family
By Mohamed Nada/Arab America Contributing Writer
Father’s Day has passed, but that doesn’t mean we should stop showing dads everywhere how much we appreciate all they have done for us. From teaching you how to ride a bike, how to behave properly, how to control your finances and sending you off to college, a father’s job is like no other. Watching you grow from a baby to the adult you are now is quite something, so tell him that you care.
In the Arab American community, fathers have come such a long way. Being unemotional with their kids is a thing of the past; now Arab fathers show them all the love and attention they deserve. While it seems odd that such behavior was rare, it is not their fault. Most Arab men were raised understanding that the role of giving love and attention was for the mother, never the father.
Back in the day, most Arab fathers were taught to be stone cold towards their children; not because they did not love them, but because showing emotion was viewed as unmanly. Fathers wanted to toughen their children, especially their sons, so they could be prepared for adulthood and fatherhood.
Why has this Changed and is it Better?
The major reasons for this drastic change in a relationship are the onset of social media. All in all, social media has helped individuals expand their comfort zones by opening them up to those nearby and around the world. Another major reason is the capacity of the mothers in earning income. This fact has encouraged the fathers to participate in the emotional support of the children.
So has it gotten better for Arab fathers? The answer is yes, and here’s why:
- By relying more on communication, the relationship between father and child has grown closer
- When children are in need of any support and the mother is out working, the father steps in. This can be applied to anything, including sports, getting the first job, help with financial situations, and increased social communication
- Fathers and mothers now are better able to bestow their wisdom on their children financially and emotionally
Fathers as Role Models: How Children Look Up to Them
As kids, we tend to look up to our parents and see them as role models for the lives we want to live in our future. Without having parents to look up to, it can easily lose track of who you are or who you want to be.
A good father contributes just as much as a good mother. They are two pillars, two trees that foster our strengths, that protect us with their branches and that guide us to reach our dreams, desires, and possibilities.
- Above all, a good father serves as a behavior model for their child. Little ones are very receptive to what their fathers tell them about what they should do or not do. This is why it is imperative that parents are very conscious of everything they do or say aloud. Children are very receptive to any stimulus, behavior, attitude…
- A good father helps us make decisions, especially those that are based on values, rules, and those acts of mindfulness and maturity that fathers teach every day.
Arab fathers have come a long way. We can see it in the way they look at their children, by giving them smiles, talking with them, playing with them, and commemorating their achievements. Ultimately, we see more emotion coming from them, which is crucial when raising a child.