Redefining the Profile of an Healthy FatherJune ushers in one of my favorite holidays. Not only is June 21st Father's Day this year, it is also the first day of summer. Father's Day honors the important men in our lives. During my career as a medical doctor and personal trainer, and in life itself, I have found that where there is a healthy father there is a healthy family. The father is at the helm and in his absence the family operates at less than full strength. Many men recognize this and are taking better care of themselves so they will be around to take care of their families.
A father who works out regularly, eats well, takes pride in his appearance, sees his physician regularly, and nurtures his spiritual self has a family who does the same.
The definition of a "healthy father" has evolved over the past several decades. He is no longer the man who is expected just to provide for his family's financial well-being, leads with discipline, and shows up at family/school functions. Now, fortunately, he is to participate with his family on multiple levels. Today's fathers are deeply invested in every aspect of their family's life. Many of us look to our fathers as the man who can move mountains; they can make the impossible possible. The same way that fathers transform their health, they can also transform and positively impact the lives of their family.
The word FATHERS stands for the following 7 attributes: Fearless, Aspiration, Time, Heart, Excitement, Resilience and Security:
Fearless- a healthy father is able to fearlessly lead his family because he is sure God has his back as well as the back of each one in his family. He knows that if he moves forward, walking in faith and courage, anything is possible.
Aspiration- a healthy father has aspirations for his family to achieve greaness that comes in many forms according to the individual. He aspires to instill a sense of hope and determination within his family so that during times of need, tough times and dark moments, they will have the power to survive.
Time- a healthy father knows his family dynamics like the back of his hand. With true time invested, he knows the exact pulse of his family and becomes a diligent student in learning exactly what it takes to keep them in a healthy place. He understands their "ups and downs" and recognizes that time helps heal.
Heart- today's father has a very big heart and unlike yesterdays' fathers, he is not afraid to show it. His love for his family is limitless and unconditional from the heart, whether positive or tough and disciplinary. His family is the most important thing in his life.
Excitement- the 21st century man is excited about being a father and knows that it is a title to be earned and cherished. He recognizes the value that fatherhood has in society. He is always willing to improve his performance by learning, listening, observing and at times, modifying his original plan, whenever the situation calls for it.
Resilience- a healthy father builds his immune system to become resilient against infections and to the challenges that come his way. He protects his family from what life throws their way, understanding it is important at times to experience life's challenges to grow and mature.
Security- the word father is synonymous with secure. A man who is secure within passes this sense of self-assuredness to those around him - a powerful gift. With this as a foundation, a father knows that his family will not be easily swayed when difficulties arise.
The magnificence of all the healthy fathers in our communities confirms that we as a people have a bright future ahead of us. As we share our healthy practices and build our family units we build our community. This symbiotic unit that prays and plays together, supports and loves one another grows together in a healthy, holistic way.
Overall, a "healthy father" is a smart father who feels fortunate and blessed for the family he has fathered!
Marjorie Dejoie-Brewer, MD, Medical Director, SCDAA/PDVC [email protected], 215-668-2713, 215-471-8686, www.madfit.org.