Fathers Who Leave Footprints in Their Children's Hearts

Let's put aside the stereotypes and recognize that fathers also nurture, nourish, alleviate fears, and act as wonderful emotional figures in their children's lives. In fact their children will always carry them with them in their hearts.
Fathers Who Leave Footprints in Their Children's Hearts
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

There are many fathers who leave footprints in their children’s hearts. They’re figures far removed from the classic image of the man who limits himself exclusively to being the economic provider, delegating all the parenting tasks to their partner. Indeed, these are fathers who also nourish, build, and leave a wonderful imprint on their children’s hearts.

For many years, like other sciences, psychology left the role of parenting to one side. Research studies didn’t attach much importance to its influence on the development of children. Thus, when talking about attachment, women were the only partners considered.

However, the father-child bond is just as important in any child’s life. In fact, in these times of social changes and reformulations, it’s time to deactivate many of the stereotypes that persist in society today. Because fathers also change diapers, comfort and feed their children, stay awake at night, and occasionally even take on parenting alone.

“It is a wis e father that knows his own child”

-William Shakespeare-

scene to symbolize how parents who leave a mark on the heart
Most early childhood attachment has focused on the relationship between mother and child. However, the role of the father is just as decisive and enriching.

Fathers who leave footprints in their children’s hearts

What makes a person a good father or a good mother? The magic word is involvement. Having a father who’s constantly involved in the lives of his children stays with them forever. It’s a kind of active and positive participation that’s really beneficial. In addition, the paternal figure should be qualified in the art of emotions, capable of giving their children assurance and favoring their personal development.

The commanding and authoritarian father is seldom able to make significant and positive contributions to the family’s emotional life. In fact, fathers should help their children to be who they really want to be. They must energize, inspire, respect, and understand. However, they shouldn’t ever try to mold their children in their own image. If they do, they’re guilty of being a narcissistic parent.

We mentioned at the beginning how psychology has neglected for years the role of the father as an attachment figure. Nevertheless, for a couple of decades, more scientific contributions have come to light that highlight the father’s importance.

For instance, an investigation conducted by the University of Belfast, Oxford, and Warwick (UK) claimed that paternal attachment notably favors a child’s psychosocial development. Moreover, in homes where the mother isn’t able to offer valid and positive affection to the children, if the father’s attachment is optimal, it’ll contribute to the mental well-being of the children.

Reframing masculinity: sensitive fathers who know how to love

Fathers who leave footprints in their children’s hearts know how to be present and how to offer love to their children. They do so by setting aside the classic scheme of hegemonic and traditional masculinity. The kind that shows a strong, resolute image but hides their emotions and sensitivity.

Good fathers bond deeply with their children from the moment they first hold them. They show how much they love them, take care of them, connect with their needs, quench their fears, nurture their dreams, and support and inspire them. They’re both compassionate and empathetic and, just as important, they know how to form a team with their partners in relationships of equality, balance, and happiness.

They helped us to be who we are now

Parents who leave footprints in their children’s hearts don’t dream of raising successful children. They just want to give the world happy people. This factor is decisive in the life of every child. However, all too often, mothers and fathers almost become coaches for their children.

That’s because they expect the best from them: to excel in their studies and in sports. They yearn for them to be the best because they failed themselves to do so. Nevertheless, good parents only want their children to grow up and be happy, to be what they want to be, and to set their own goals and dreams.

Those who have fathers made of this material, the one formed by respect and not by ambition or domination, know that they have a real treasure for a dad.

Father and son talking happily
The man who knows himself, who’s competent in emotional responsibility, and who’s healed his own wounds from yesterday is the best of fathers.

Men: making their way in a world full of stereotypes

You may not always be aware of it, but in our current reality, gender stereotypes persist that are difficult to eliminate. In this particular case, we’re talking about those associated with parenthood. For example, currently, fathers have a hard time finding public places to change their children’s diapers. That’s because these areas tend to only exist in women’s restrooms, not men’s.

Furthermore, some fathers continue to doubt that they’re competent caregivers or are capable of running a home alone. On the other hand, others manage to deal, on a daily basis, with the difficulties of parenting and go out of their way for their children, ignoring the views of others who claim there’s nothing like a mother’s love.

There are many fathers who leave footprints in their children’s hearts by giving their best and creating indelible bonds with their children. They deserve recognition; today, tomorrow, and always.

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Chopra, R., Chaitali Dasgupta, & Mandeep K. Janeja. (2000). Understanding Masculinity. Economic and Political Weekly, 35(19), 1607–1609. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4409257
  • O’Hara, L., Smith, E. R., Barlow, J., Livingstone, N., Herath, N. I., Wei, Y., Spreckelsen, T. F., & Macdonald, G. (2019). Video feedback for parental sensitivity and attachment security in children under five years. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews11(11), CD012348. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012348.pub2

The contents of Exploring Your Mind are for informational and educational purposes only. They don't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment of a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.