A father's qualities will affect a child's future. If the child sees the father lose his temper, the child will think that it is acceptable behaviour. A great responsibility, therefore, rests on the shoulders of a father. But why the emphasis on fathers? What about mothers? The role of the mother in a child's life has long been recognised, but human beings are unique in one respect. In the animal world, it is only the mothers that take care of the young ones. The father's role is limited to producing offspring. After that it doesn't care for the young. But human beings are unique in this respect, because in their case, the fathers take responsibility too. Thriuvalluvar says family life will be happy, only when there is love and uprightness in the family, said Suki Sivam.

Mothers are usually gentler with the children, who also need a firm disciplining hand. The father could provide that discipline. In case the mother is strict, then the father could be the lenient parent. Thus the father complements the mother's role.

Children like to learn, but not what you teach them. They learn more by emulating their parents than by listening to them. One day a father was cleaning his garden when he was called away. He had to leave the work unfinished. His son, who had been watching his father, picked up the axe that his father had left behind, and cut down a fruit-bearing tree his father had carefully tended. The child's mother was aghast for, she was afraid that the child was going to get a good thrashing from the father. The father returned and was upset on seeing the felled tree. He asked who was responsible and the son truthfully replied that he was. The father gave him a hug and said that in future the boy was to ask his father which tree to cut and which not to. The mother asked her husband why he had not punished the boy. The man replied that he had not punished the boy because the child had spoken the truth. If the boy had been punished, it would have sent home the wrong message. The boy would have come to the conclusion that it didn't pay to be honest. Thus a tactful father can help his child grow up to be a responsible, honest person.

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