Biologically, it is not too difficult to be a father. But for a man to become a father in the true sense of the term, it is the manner in which he undertakes his duties and responsibilities towards his children that really matters. History is replete with instances when biological fathers could not fulfill their paternal duties towards their own children. Time has also been witness to such men who cared for and reared children as best as they could even though they were not real fathers to these kids.
The purpose of Father's Day has always been to honour and appreciate the love of a father and laud his selfless efforts to bring his child up to the best of his abilities. It is as much an occassion for biological father and children as it is for "daddies" and kids not related by blood.
According to a recent study, thirty-five percent of teens have a better relationship with their stepdad than their biological father. Former U.S. Presidents like George Washington, Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford were adopted by their stepfathers. Popular figures like explorer Meriwether Lewis, pediatrician Benjamin Spock, educator Booker T. Washington and children's writer Dr. Seuss also had loving stepfathers.
It is not easy being a father but it is far more difficult to be a stepfather. For a man who has to deal with the kid of some other person, it needs a lot of love, care and understanding. While an infant might not pose problems, it is the grown up children who are difficult to handle. The knowledge that the man trying to be a part of their lives is not their own biological father makes them hard to accept a stepdad and further, allow him to dictate their lives. If the kids have experienced the love and care of their own father, it is particularly difficult for a stepdad to step into the shoes of that man and get close to the youngsters who are really not a part of his life. It needs time, patience and a lot of understanding and sacrifices on the part of a man to be a stepfather to kids not related to him by blood. But all these can be very rewarding for the person once he manages to win the affections of these young hearts. Children always value the love of outsiders and once the initial barriers are broken, they might see the real person in their "stepdad" and like him for what he is. They may also appreciate his efforts once they begin to grow up.
Here are some tips that a stepdad will find handy to develop his bond with his children:
Such trips bring children very close to their dads. If you are a stepfather, take your "kid" along and drive to a theatre, an entertainment park, or some scenic spot where you get to know each other as well as have some lighthearted fun. Remember, being a child yourself is the key to know your child better as well as make yourself an attractive companion for him/her.
Being helpful towards your stepchildren is also a good way to bring you closer to them. Try to help your stepkid(s) as often and in as many ways as possible. Help your kid with his/her studies if you can, as showing interest in their education gives them the feeling that you are involved. If they are having a tough time with building blocks, create something wonderful and show them how to do it. They are going to like you for this.
Children love to feel important. Go to them with some imaginary problem of yours and ask for their help. Ask their opinion, what they think you should do and you will soon have them thinking. They will love, not to help you, but trying to prove the superiority of their intelligence over you. That way, they will feel you are giving them importance and they will begin to be close to you. Accept whatever their suggestion is and thank them for their special help with a small gift that they would like.
Hope this Father's Day brings you closer to your stepchildren. Best of luck and a "Happy Father's Day" to you!