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Why Fathers Are Often Underrated in Contributing to Who We Become Today?

by Melody Ong. |

“Dad, my idea didn’t work out. I’m a little devastated.”

Years ago. I remember coming home from school one day, flunking my science project, and was in tears because I was so invested in my ‘perfect’ science project.

“That’s fine. It’s not the end of the world.”

My dad said nonchalantly from the couch, barely sparing me a look.

I waited for words of comfort but there was none, I left for my room fuming. I told myself that I would not dismiss someone this easily when they needed comfort.

Fast forward to this day, I still think about the scenario but instead of feeling confused and angry, I understood my father’s actions and words. All he meant was that failing my science project is okay. I need to accept failure and try again, and I embody that wisdom from him.

Fathers are often misunderstood in contributing to who we become today. We see our father as pillars of strength but when it comes to educating us— be it about schoolwork, sports or sometimes comforting us during tough times, they may come off as nonchalant. You can go to him with a problem with your schoolwork and instead of going step-by-step with you, he gives you the answer and asks you to figure out yourself.

I grew up thinking my dad taught me nothing, but let me tell you how wrong I was. I just didn’t realize sooner about how different both of my parents are, and my father is equally as great a parent as my mother.

Why are fathers often misunderstood in contributing to who we become today?

1. Fathers are goofy

My father can make funny scenarios in any situation and often jokes about it. It’s frustrating. When a roasted chicken in the oven didn’t turn out right, I would have panicked and felt dreadful. My father, on the other hand, makes a joke about the burnt chicken and tells us we’ll just order in for the night. They are goofy because sometimes, there is no point in worrying and regretting something that didn’t turn out right, so just laugh it off and find an alternative.

2. Fathers encourage risk-taking

While there are times when taking risks requires a big leap of faith, fathers are often the ones encouraging us to leap. “If you don’t take the risk that comes with doing something you want, you’ll end up regretting one day.” I never understood every time my father took the risk to build a business from scratch, but I came to realize that taking risks is how you make the most of your life. It was something he wanted to happen— that is why he is willing to take the risk than to regret not trying.

3. Fathers appear nonchalant

Have you ever been in a situation where you asked if you’re allowed to go over to a friend’s place for a sleepover, and your father allows it without any questions? In truth, their answers are always a “yes”, if they don’t sense any danger in doing so. Sometimes you wish your father had more concern towards you, but to them, it just shows that they trust you to be on your best and wish you to have fun because you’re only going to be this young once.

Image: Women's Web

4. Fathers discipline more strictly

When we think our mothers are strict, wait until our father gets angry. That is when you know you’re in deep trouble. Deeper than any abyss. Most of the time, our father is chill and tends to not care much if you’re doing things rightfully; but when you’re doing something wrong, fathers won’t hesitate to discipline you strictly. I remember being scolded so harshly by my father and I still remember his lessons to this day.

5. Fathers are always easy-going (ironically)

Almost to the point where it seems like they do not care. When I had my first heartbreak, I was not only hurting but also frustrated at myself. My father wasn’t an emotional man, his approach towards my confused feelings was laid-back, it almost seemed like he didn’t care. He didn’t say a word of comfort or get mad along with me, but he did tell me that some things in life would hurt but don’t dwell on it. He cares for me, but he didn’t want to react emotionally to get me more riled up, hence it appears as if he doesn’t care.

6. Fathers are silent workers

Of course, in this time and age, some fathers helped a lot in doing house chores like washing the dishes, folding laundry, or cleaning the windows; but it is still the harsh truth that most of these duties fall onto their wives. As I grew up watching my father not helping with the household, I thought he was mostly lazy, but little did I know, he was constantly on call for work, taking business calls, having meetings at home and working longer hours than usual to make sure we all have our necessities met. He’s a silent worker. I learned that he is fulfilling his responsibility, and we are expected the same for our roles in the household or any environment.

7. Fathers do not coddle you

I remember in the younger days, I wanted to ride a bicycle so badly. My father put me on a bicycle and asked me to start paddling. Getting wobbly and falling over at every attempt, my father just stood and watched while encouraging me to figure out how to work it myself. Instead of spoon-feeding us with what we need, fathers always make us learn by ourselves. They do not offer things on a plate for us, instead, they give us an empty plate and ask us to fill it up ourselves, because we cannot expect to have things easy all the time.

Easily, fathers are mostly misunderstood for their unique ways of shaping us into who we are today. Our fathers taught us many lessons in so many unconventional ways, where it seems almost as though they are doing it wrong. Their approach towards nurturing us is sometimes confusing; but truth to be told, they have been guiding us and teaching us in their own little quirky ways. Our fathers will always play an irreplaceable role in contributing who we become today — however unusual their methods may be.

You may find out more about Melody on her Instagram too!

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