I’ve often said that there is a very big difference between FATHERS and DADS. The basic difference is easy enough to understand. A Dad is more involved in the life of their child than a Father. There is more to it, of course, but it’s even simpler than you think.
Dads are not only fathers who are invested in the life of their child. He’s also capable of being a husband, whereas most men truly do not have the strength and resolve to be married and survive. He’s also capable of satisfying his sex drive if the usual result of the usual life path involving the usual marriage plays out.
What’s more, all of these things boil down to one very simple thing. The true value of Dads can be conveyed in a single syllable.
The most powerful word in any language. Dads say it, and more importantly, they mean it. And most importantly of all, they say it where and when it is appropriate.
You might say that a Dad’s value as a role model is higher and more important than simply saying NO. You wouldn’t be wrong about the first part. It’s true that a good Dad is the model of male behavior for his children.
He shows them how a man is supposed to interact with women when his children see him with their mother. This sets the baseline of normal romantic relationships for them, as well as the baseline of behavior in cohabitation.
Dad shows his sons what they should aspire to become. Dad shows his daughter what a man is supposed to be and what to seek later.
Whether the child is a son or a daughter, Dad’s behavior affects ALL interactions they have with men, their idea of men in general, and the standard of behavior they hold all men to.
All of this is true, but it is far from the value he provides by being the one to say NO. That’s because the two are not mutually exclusive and do not exist in a vacuum.
The concept begins early, in defense against physical danger, and persists into adolescence in many forms. Dad first demonstrates his authority, role, and good will by saying NO in defense of the Tribe.
Protector of the Tribe
The first, obvious value of a hard NO in a child’s life is in protection. When little Johnny and little Suzy are playing in the yard and Dad sees little Johnny about to pick up a snapping turtle, or some other vermin, NO saves a finger or two.
You might say that the children’s mother can say NO. You’re right. She can say it, and she can mean it, but children don’t respond to it the same way. Her body doesn’t have the testosterone a Dad’s does. Her voice is more soprano than bass.
When it comes to avoiding danger, real physical danger, Dad does it best. Any hard NO will be heard by a child. That’s true, but nothing stops a child in their tracks quicker than the deep, bellowing bark of a Dad with healthy testosterone.
That effect (and the children’s response) will carry through to less physical but equally real dangers that Dad will say NO to later in life.
The Many Soft Dangers of Soft Living
We will look at these from the top of the family tree on down. The first danger is, of course, if Dad goes soft.
The most important NO a Dad says is spoken by him to himself.
He can’t very well tell anyone else NO if he doesn’t tell it to himself. Remember, the most important part is that Dads say NO where appropriate. When soft living begins to dull his edge, it’s incredibly appropriate for him to tell himself NO.
His wits must be kept sharp, living a life of perpetual learning. His body must be kept strong and his hands hard. The fire in his eyes must be forever burning and his hunger can never be fully sated.
Not only does this keep Dad from becoming someone unfit to lead his family, it sets the standard the rest of the family will hold themselves to.
Next we have Mom. It’s critically important that Dad can tell her NO and mean it, and her know he means it, whenever it is appropriate.
If they have a son and Dad doesn’t say NO, he condemns his son to be a spineless wretch. If they have a daughter and Dad never tells Mom NO, their daughter will expect this from every man she ever meets. Reality will then do what it does and the dissonance will result in a miserable life for the kiddos as adults.
This trend will continue and his children will perpetuate the cycle with their own children. You can see this vicious cycle repeating itself in every public place in any area of the world. A weak Dad who never tells the mother of his children NO (when it is appropriate to) damns his entire bloodline to suffer the same weakness.
This brings us to a Dad’s children, be they male or female, as NO is critical to their development and future.
I’ve always said that you can tell how a man was with the women in his life when dating by looking at how he responds to his daughter as a Dad. If he bends to the every whim of “Daddy’s little princess“, then he’s been bending over for every woman that’s ever been in his life.
You might ask, “What if he learned this behavior by watching his father? What if he thought this was normal?”
Should a killer be able to commit his crimes, completely free from guilt, because his father had killed someone? Do the children of infantry veterans run amok, slaughtering people with impunity? Of course not.
There is no good excuse for it. It is simply weakness, no matter where it comes from, and he has to answer for that weakness. Reality will do what it does, and he will pay for that weakness several times over.
Most likely, it’ll start when his wife becomes his ex-wife and spends the rest of his little princess’s childhood paying child support. Not to mention the alimony he’ll pay for however long his former “queen” can get it.
What do you think that’s going to do to Daddy’s little princess? What kind of expectations is she going to have for every man she ever meets? How well has he equipped her for reality? Not well.
Maybe he’ll get lucky and the next man his former wife finds will be strong. A strong, honorable man with a backbone who can protect the tribe. The Dad his daughter deserved, the one she needed.
He can hope, right? For the her sake.
Probably won’t happen, though. That kind of man would look at the situation, look at what he’s offered, and say NO.
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