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Updated: Dec 6, 2021

As we grow into our role as a father, whether we are raising sons or raising daughters we will eventually develop our own parenting style. Practically put, this is the way we operate as a father, and is often influenced by the male role models we have had in life. You may find yourself repeating something that your dad said to you as a child, and this may or may not be a good thing depending upon their fathering style.

Our parenting style often reflects the way we ourselves were raised

We often unwittingly take on the attitudes and mannerisms of our own fathers, although we are not bound to stick with those fathering styles if we do not find them beneficial to our own family.

What is your style of being a father? Following is a simplified list of some (but not all) of the most typical fathering styles adopted in modern times. Each of these styles of fathering brings with it a set of consequences that will either improve or trouble your future relationship with your children.

The absent Dad

The absent Dad is characterised as the man who has fathered a child but takes little or no part in the child’s life. This may or may not be his desire as sometimes relationship breakdowns result in the father being isolated from his child from no fault of his own.

The 'ask Mum' Dad

The ‘ask Mum’ Dad is the father who although present in body, has yielded much of the daily decision making and disciplining of the children to his wife. He is often characterised by the man who is caught up with so many external things outside the family unit that he has nothing left mentally or emotionally for them.

The dictator Dad

The dictator Dad is the father who runs the home like a Prisoner of War Camp and has the kids jumping incessantly through fear of punishment. This style of fathering is often characterised by shouting and threatening dire circumstances if directions are not followed immediately.

The pushover Dad

The pushover Dad is the father that is so soft emotionally that his children are able to twist him around their little fingers and get everything they want by merely batting their eyelids and saying ‘Please Dad!!!!’

The involved Dad

The involved Dad is the father who has grasped the importance of taking up his role as head of the home to serve his family through leadership and self sacrifice. He ensures that he is involved in as many areas of his child’s life as possible, taking an interest, encouraging and financing his child’s development. He is also responsible for the loving application of discipline within the home, and one of his greatest roles is to lead by example.

It is possible for men to see elements of their fathering styles in more than one of those listed, or as the list is not comprehensive you may not see your style at all. The aim of this particular teaching is to help dads identify their own style of fathering and decide whether they wish to maintain it or try to improve certain areas that do not seem beneficial to their family.

How we as fathers are seen by our children is important, for not only do we shape young lives into adulthood but the relationship we have with them today will affect the relationship they will want to have with us in the future.


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Dads' UNI can also assist you in continuing to develop your own fathering style through a Free subscription that emails you a Fathering Tip each week.

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