Figure 1: A Conceptual Ethic of Fathering as Generative Work

  Challenges of the Human Condition Attendant Needs of the Next Generation Types of Generative Work--Fathers' Capabiities and Responsibilities Desired Results of Generative Fathering

1

DEPENDENCY
Vulnerability
&
Uncertainty

(infancy
)

SECURITY
&
CONTINUITY

ETHICAL WORK
Commit

pledge to ensure child's well-being
Continue

be an enduring presence in child's life

INVOLVED
Fathers

SECURE

Children

2

SCARCITY
Necessities
&
Aspirations

(early childhood)

RESOURCES
&
OPPORTUNITIES

STEWARDSHIP WORK
Consecrate

dedicate material resources to child
Create

provide possibilities for child to achieve

RESPONSIBLE
Fathers

CONFIDENT

Children

3

CHANGE
Development
&
Transformation

(play age)

ATTENTION
&
ACCOMMODATION

DEVELOPMENT WORK
Care

respond to child's needs & wants
Change

adapt in response to child's needs

RESPONSIVE
Fathers

PURPOSEFUL

Children

4

STRESS
Tension
&
Demands

(school age)

RELAXATION
&
CAPABILITIES

RECREATION WORK
Cooperate

relax & play together on child's level
Challenge

extend child's skills & coping abilities

PLAYFUL
Fathers

JOYFUL

Children

5

PERPLEXITY
Apprehension
&
Confusion

(adolescence)

ENCOURAGEMENT
&
MEANING

SPIRITUAL WORK
Confirm

affirm belief & confidence in child
Counsel

guide, teach, advise, impart meaning

FAITHFUL
Fathers

PEACEFUL

Children

6

ISOLATION
Aloneness
&
Misunderstanding

(young adulthood)

INTIMACY
&
EMPATHY

RELATIONSHIP WORK
Commune

share love, thoughts, feelings with child
Comfort

express empathy & understanding to child

LOVING
Fathers

CARING

Children

7

OBLIGATION
Complexities
&
Burdens

(adulthood)

WISDOM
&
SUPPORT

MENTORING WORK
Consult

impart insights & suggestions when asked
Contribute

sustain & support generative work

GENERATIVE
Fathers

GENERATIVE

Children