Home Parent Dad Andrew Heberlein expounds upon the differing roles of fatherhood:
As a foster father, I’ve noticed that I take on many different roles in the lives of my children.
In our society today, dads are often portrayed in the villain role. That’s an unfortunate truth for many of our children; if they’ve had a father, he has often been the villain.
I take on many positive roles for my kids to show them what true fatherhood looks like. One of those roles is simply the “Older Male.” The Older Male is like the quarterback of your football team. He’s the one that runs the plays and makes sure everyone is in the right position. You might say, “That’s just what a dad is supposed to do.” Yes it is; but doing that with kids who have never had a leader or have only known hatred and abandonment from a father means that Older Male role is often tricky.
Sometimes I take on what hockey players call the “Goon” role. The Goon is the guy who can skate but can’t really shoot, so his role is to defend the players when bad stuff happens. Being the Goon as a foster dad means shielding my kids from the stray pucks and balls that get thrown at them in life. Sometimes those stray pucks come from within them, from their upbringing and past hurts. That one is the hardest to defend.
One of the most amazing roles I get to play as a dad is the “Knight” role. The Knight gets to protect the girls and teach the guys. When kids at school pick on my girls, daddy Knight comes to the rescue. Most of the guys have no idea how the women in our lives are supposed to be treated. One struggle with this Knight role as a dad is when the ladies can’t accept my help or are unwilling to be loved and accepted by a father-like person. For the young guys, the challenge is teaching them that the ladies in our lives are not objects and they are not inferior to males. That one is rough and takes some tough love sometimes.
Home Parent Dad Jordan Douce adds, “The role of ‘Husband’ is super important as a father. When I was a kid, one of the things my parents did that impacted me the most had nothing to do with me at all. It was how they respected and loved one another. As I grew up, it was their relationship and commitment to one another that provided me with a deep inner security and peace of heart.
“It is this security and commitment as a husband that I try to portray to the children on a daily basis. I cannot make empty promises and tell them I will always be there for them, as much as I might want to. But I can tell my wife that. As our children see my commitment as husband, my hope is that they see and experience this same type of love. A love that goes beyond faults or hurts. A love that lasts a lifetime. My greatest hope is that this love gives each child a taste of the eternal love that Christ has promised each one of His children.”
Home Parent Dad Brian Wallace says, “I do not replace their dad, but I do treat these children like they’re my own. Fulfilling the role of father means you must invest in them so that one day they have a chance to survive in this world. As a father, I need to set a Godly example of what a leader looks like in the home, what a husband looks like and what it means to protect my children no matter what. I love being a father.”
Andrew concludes, “The list of roles goes on. For instance, I can be a friend. A brother. A father. A protector. And that crazy guy who has too many kids. It’s insane being a foster father, but it is the most rewarding job I have ever done in my life.”
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