The Times West Virginian


June 15, 2014

Fatherhood: A necessary leadership role

Father’s Day, as with Mother’s Day, rolls around each year, and our attention is focused upon the important role played by parenthood. It is an accepted fact that we fathers, in general, realize our second-place posturing position in the ranks of family importance. No one can take the place of Mom.

Even though we may be second to her, we nonetheless have a position of equal responsibility and leadership. The evolution of the home structure has brought about many changes as to the roles played by both in the parenting equation.

In yesteryear, the father was the sole bread winner, and Mom was a stay-at-home queen of the castle. As society progressed and lifestyles changed, the financial demands of everyday living required, in most situations, more income than the father could generate. So the bread winner was by necessity multiplied by two, and the home environment was forever changed.

In our present society, the father’s role as primary leader and disciplinarian has seemed to fade. In too many families, the father is satisfied to allow a working and already overloaded wife to become the chief leader in the home. These talented and dedicated women have produced generations of children who love and respect both parents, but these children have had little influence from the leadership example set by their fathers.

Nothing can be written or suggested that covers any and all circumstances. But our nation and communities find themselves in dire need of fathers who are abreast of the personal needs of their children and who, by example, demonstrate their leadership, participation and love equal to that of the mother. The lack of an example of fatherly leadership in the home is producing elected leaders, professionals, and countless and diverse fathers who find it difficult to make important decisions and difficult to know their core beliefs and standards for living.

If on this Father’s Day, June 15, 2014, we fathers want and expect to be honored as we should be, we must face ourselves in honesty and evaluate our contribution to the home structuring of our families. It may be a beautiful and rewarding evaluation, or it may be one of realizing our faults and neglect in our participation with our family environment.

Fathers, shall we unite and pledge anew to be full-time fathers and leave with our children a loving legacy of total paternal involvement in the rearing of our most treasured possessions, our children? There can be no greater teacher of leadership than a father’s daily example.

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, dads and daddies.

— Elton Slusser

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