Changing times: A Father’s Role in the Modern Family

By Deepshikha for Twisted Tiara

I’ve been married for a couple of years now, and I can still say with absolute certainty that my father was integral to my upbringing, and is still vital for my survival. Father’s Day got me thinking about what role a father plays in a child’s life; after all, it would be a concern in the distant future. Strictly speaking, a father’s role today is different than what it was a couple of decades ago. India, among other nations, is ingrained with certain forms of patriarchy. As per this, a father is someone you should look up to no matter how tall you grow. However, with the progressive mindset, new traditions, and more education, the distinct line between gender roles are gradually dissolving.

I often think about what the scenario will be like when we step into parenthood. It sounds challenging and somewhat different compared to what I experienced as a 90’s kid. Being a part of the generation that wants to bring about change and equality, we have to be the ones to dilute stereotypical gender roles. Raising a child is an interplay of both, the mother and the father; nurturing is no longer strictly a mother’s role. Traditionally, a father’s main responsibility revolved around providing financial support, acting as a protector, and enforcing discipline. Now, fathers also attend parent-teacher meetings, take paternity leave, and willingly look after their child. They don’t look at it as babysitting, because it’s parenting, people!

Many developed countries have seen father’s taking more initiative, cooking and cleaning for their children. Father’s too, like mothers, know how to change diapers, give baths, and rock their babies to sleep. Fathers also encourage competition and engender independence. The nature of parenting often varies and is different in the case of each parents.

With a rise in metropolitan culture, children are often a part of a nuclear family set up. They reach out to both the parents for equal love, support and comfort. The dynamics have changed, as decades ago a mother was the nurturer and the father was the disciplinarian; now both of them work as a team to provide the best for their children.

Source: NDTV

Father’s need to show a certain amount of sensitivity to bond with their child, whether girl or boy. For a boy, a father remains a role model, their first superhero. A son wants to make his father proud and seeks aspiration from his father. For a daughter, a father also emulates a superhero, who cares and protects her. The ideal father would make a girl wants her spouse to be a reflection of him, treating her well and respecting her all the while. Communication for a father can become complicated when their girl reaches adulthood. Perplexing as it may be, it’s important for them to navigate through watching his girl transform into a woman.

The dynamics and relationship a person carries with their father forms the basis of all other relationships. A father lays the cornerstone for the successful functionality of a family unit. They tend to stress rules, justice, fairness, and duty in discipline. A father’s involvement can also go a long way toward preventing negative behaviour during adolescence. Kids whose fathers are involved parents are much less likely to run into problems with the law, drugs, and teenage pregnancy.

I personally think that Father’s Day should be celebrated for not only acknowledging fathers in our lives, but also to understand and respect the undying support given by them. Their growing roles in their kid’s lives is of utmost importance, and the play an equivalent albeit separate role in their child’s life. Providing financial stability along with emotional equity is the ideal, but a delicate balance that father’s today are beginning to try their hands in. While many factors can influence a father’s involvement with his child, in most situations it’s possible for fathers to embrace and excel at their important job of child rearing. The keys are consistency, compassion, attention, and time. When fathers are able to provide all the above, everyone in the family is sure to benefit. I am sure every man realises this when he holds his tiny baby in his hand and he promises to leave no stone unturned to give him the best.


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