Dad's importance should not be underestimated - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dad's importance should not be underestimated

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June 16, 2005

Albany- "I like to play t-ball, and basketball at my house and play games with my father," said four year old Jairus Bonner.

"I like playing video games with him," said 6 year-old Cameryn Bonner.

"That father figure was a major part of my upbringing. I think that a young child needs a father for stability," said Charles Bonner.

That's why he makes it a point to have fun with his kids and to be a major part of their lives. Child psychologists agree saying it's the quality of time and not the activities that matter.

"While I certainly think amount is important, I mean you can't just do it a little, I do believe that the quality of the time is critical," said Dr. Nick Carden, Child Psychologist.

Psychologists say modeling is also important for the development of young children.

"The role of a father in a child's life is very important because the father brings in part the image to a child of what men are about in life," said Carden.

"I see that guy there, everybody says he looks just like me. So, it's kind of hard not to get emotional when you see him doing some of the same things you did, just see him being you," said Bonner.

"I do believe that it's important for fathers to be able to be affective, to be emotional to be sharing and to be on the soft side with their children," said Carden.

Even more important is that they act as a hero figure, giving their children someone to pattern themselves after.

"We serve as the role model for our children, in terms of how the male figure is to interact in society and in the world today," said Carden.

"I think that the father is just half of the puzzle. I think that with mother and father they need to see that unit and they need to see that being together and being one that's the way of life, that's the way it's supposed to be done," said Bonner.

Psychologists also say it's especially important teenagers and young boys to have not only fathers but male mentors in their lives.

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