Myths about Effective Fatherhood in Asia in Modern Times

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The roles Asian dad play had been diminishing over time as legacy trades had been transformed into contemporary salary earning occupations; pass it down professions such as carpentering, farming, hunters, fisherman, traders and so on which require the primary breadwinners of the family to provide long term guidance and wisdom to prepare the young off-springs to assume their duties in due time was long gone and with the new modern Asian mother being liberated from predecessor profiles with higher social mobility and subsequent embracement of the demanding and rewarding careers of the 21th century had unknowingly assumed excessive responsibilities traditionally held by the man and further reduces the inherent complimentary influences the father imparts to the children and as a results, majority of fathers in Asia had no clues on how to apply effective fatherhood in the families due to structural dissociation.

Being a good enough father in Asia context means first getting few facts straighten up; Its mutually important to being a loving husband and a good father as the most effective and fail-safe way to bring up “good” children. The old way one picks up from previous generations need not to be the only way and adopting new perspectives are crucial to keep things in order. Ultimately, it’s never an easy task for being a decent dad, fatherhood is the corner stone of the family which are the fundamental building block for an overall healthy community as it fulfills couple of the most important functional aspects of the society; guidance, safe harbor, acceptance, caring, unconditional love and so on. This article explores few keys that can help inspiring Asian fathers to become a great dad with the correct perspective and some hands-on tips in the 21th century.

It’s not just about you, marriage bond between the spouses depreciated from the moment of the first born was brought into the family as they’ve begun the long and winding yet divine and rewarding life-long journey to prepare the children to become a useful member of the society, doing so fulfilling something larger than themselves as we are after all not immortal and leaving some degree of decent legacy behind including responsible children rearing fit the picture nicely.

Deploy delay strategies. Asian Man being inherently conscious of face often jeopardizes relationships in heated arguments with regrettable remarks and irreversible damages. An important trick is to hold your breath and avoid direct on the spot confrontation at the peak of emotional verbal exchanges with spouse and children and simply walk away to cool down. The issues with them can be addressed when things are back to normal. i.e. have a word with them before bedtimes, during breakfast the next day and so on for a more receptive audience and attentions. Avoid being hijacked by our emotions and practice to be clear and steady on demand. Acknowledgement of weakness and problems: no family is without issues. The father after all needs to assume the lead for gearing toward the right directions.

Honoring the man, he needs it to excel: Man being genetically simple and easily manipulative just need to be honored and respected appropriately in the family for them to shine and reaching their full potential with leadership in the household for major decisions; relocation, career choice and so on. Many Asian man are willing to sacrifice and do all their might as their born duties for their family’s glory despite their inclination from being expressive about it.  Some new generation Asian women over emphasizes their financial contribution to the household and openly demanding equal if not more says and weightage as half or more sky are indeed held by them nowadays;

Man understood despite incapability of formal acknowledgement and actually appreciate the significant impacts this had on the comfortable lifestyle they are enjoying and never underestimate and look down on their spouse efforts and many man indeed are shouldering on willingly the demanding domestic chores any family with kids have, the key here is to recognize that, biologically, man needs a greater purpose in the family in order to do well not unlike in the past century and continue portraying and treating them as the leader and the head at least in front of the children and outsiders will be the win-win scenario in the long run. 1+ 1 is not equal or greater than 2 but 1 + 1 = 1 should applies here, the kids need both maternal and paternal loves, caring and leadership to excel their full potentials.

“The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
― John Wooden

Putting 100%: If men can’t 100% commit to a marriage, he usually won’t do well in other major aspects; Career advancement, health maintenance, community involvement, emotional control and so on, many Asian men places too much priority in career and business following the steps of their old man. Many had no choice to avoid over time and time away from home and fail to allocate priority for the family. The common excuse was over committed in the name securing bright fortune and future for the family. However, despite laborious hours putting in, does the man really place importance of family as the first place? Action speaks louder and decision making must have family needs and wants included as essential fundamental consideration.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus

Sometimes, we can’t have the best of both worlds, with globalization and intense competition for decent paying jobs many had to travel or be relocated overseas but sacrifices had to be managed to minimize disruption to the family. The key is putting in extraordinary efforts in creation of plenty of happy family moments, focusing more on experiences rather than materials. Quantity play crucial influencing factors to continue developing close relationship. The myth of pursuit of prosperity should be closely examined again. Having faith, putting in hard works and things will be taken care of. Practice “Never Give Up” and “Family Comes First” as a motto can help man and the women to stay on course. The bottom line is having an all-in marriage will make the wife feels strongly secured and abundantly loved and pampered, knowing that they and the kids are in good hands, preserving and strengthening the psychological health and strength for all.

It’s OK and cool for being humble.  Lead by actions rather words, it’s of course easier said than done. Being able to bring one-self down and apologize for mistakes is crucial as Father does acts as a moral compass not merely an authoritative figure but a humble one too, everyone fails in life from time to time and one should not to be crushed but rather move on with Life. Most Asian man are too proud and incapable of admitting mistakes and to make matter worse, resistance and arrogance grow with ages and one becomes self-importance and ignorant, it’s never too late even as an adult to adult to ask for forgiveness formally to seek for closure. It’s difficult to say sorry to juniors but one need to realize that father as a role model need to teach humbleness to the children and it’s a total package to bring them up in the right context as it will probably pay off in long term.

Learn to express your cares and loves. Being able to express verbal love with words and deeds is advantageous however most Asian man had some degree of difficulties in doing so. Surprisingly social media created an effective alternative channels with frequent sharing and emotion icons exchanged between one another. Kindness and gentleness are also crucial and father need to be kind enough to forgive and handle the grace. Being bitterness is like drinking poison and wishing other person to die. It’s important to explain to children the nature of mistakes which comes with consequences, having grace is helping to explain:” You made a mistake but I still love you and together we can be better.” Refrain from associating behavior and individual together. Children must understand we accept them as what they are. Accepting the person but demand for behavioral correction should be used as a general guideline rather than rejecting them outright. Having the spouse to be on your side helps as soft and perseverance nature of motherly advices and love usually had greater and long lasting impacts.

Assume the leadership in the family: Wife and kids need different kind of leadership from the man as compare to workplaces. Increased level of engagements in child rearing had led to frequent disputes between couple in areas of eating habit, dating criteria, dressing style, academic importance, faith preference and which school to get enrolled and so on. Some mother refuse to accommodate as the primary care taker and person in charge from cradle to adulthood and she may overlooks the complimentary roles the father had as a balancing element with greater importance as the kids grows into adolescent for leadership and guidance while Impacts of mother diminishes, frequent and out of controlled spouse disputes make a dent in effective child’s upbringing. Generally get along couple had emotionally healthier kids are undeniably apparent. They look to father for leadership in difficult times. 4 step of recovering process to be initiated for troubled kids. Reality set in and we all need to face them. Put yourself in their shoes when you were in their age when they commit mistakes. Strong, steady approach, avoid blowing up to complicate the matters

1.     Acknowledge the problems

2.     Take actions in addressing it

3.     Sit down and make sure he or she admit the mistakes, accompanying and share own experiences

4.     Pay repentance for the mistakes

5.     Ask and receive forgiveness

Drafting up and visioning a noble long term 30 years family vision: How do we want their children treat us, interact, how they remember us in 20 or 30 year time. As the head of the family, one can take advantage of the noble role to bless the children. Adopt am optimistic and never surrender altitude, if one give up, the burden will pass on to spouse and children they were not designed to bear. Help them be great at what they good at.

In a nutshell, new modern era of family management had challenged the status quo of the legacy roles many Asian fathers had for generations and whereas women had made significant and admirable social progress, man are mostly left stranded and only through recognizing these and adapt to the new rules of engagement can the man play catch up and remains an influential and functioning figure for an enviable, decent and effective fatherhood in the making. In other words, father needs to seek active participations and seize all opportunities to be an indispensable part of the home as many had regrettably realize his wife and children will still live on a respectable life even without his presence at least in the early stages but with a hefty disobedience disciplinary issues in the horizon.

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