Dimensions of Generative Involvement
"The most important...work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes."-Harold B. Lee
OverviewFathering is defined in many different ways. Some people believe that fathering is nothing more than conceiving a child. Others might include providing economically for the family. Still others believe that if a father does not have significant time with hands on child care, then he is not being a "good" father. Although each of these definitions are actually included in the work that fathers do, there is much more to generative involvement. By themselves, these limited definitions of fathering do not allow men to achieve their full potential as fathers because they fail to consider the other areas in which fathers contribute to their families well being (Palkovitz, 1997; Hawkins & Dollahite, 1997). Rob Palkovitz, in his article Reconstructing "Involvement" (1997), illustrates the many dimensions in which generative fathers are involved as they care for their families. Palkovitz argues that parenting is much more than what others can see--actions are only one aspect of fathering. He states, "As any parent can readily testify, there are numerous aspects of involvement that occupy the mind and require emotional or affective energy and investment" (p. 208). He gives 15 ways fathers can be involved in fathering:
Each of these areas is interrelated with the others, therefore any single parenting activity could fall under more than one of the areas of involvement. Using Palkovitz's fifteen "Ways to be Involved" as the framework, the following stories illustrate the various dimensions of generative involvement.
ConclusionFatherWork encompasses a man's stewardship to provide for and nurture his family. While a father's occupation may serve as a source of challenge and self-worth, the primary purpose of his employment must not be forgotten -- a father works to provide for his family. The purpose of a father's job is to ensure his family's survival and by so doing open the windows of opportunity for loving, nurturing relationships to flourish. Simply put, though a father's job may be a means of financial support, his career should always be his family, and often the balancing of time and resources between one's family and one's employment is a struggle. Much as a successful business company wisely manages its resources, so must a generative father wisely manage his time, energy, and commitment between his job and his family. Fathers, as you invest your time, energy, and love into building and strengthening your family you will find that being esteemed and "promoted" in the eyes of your children is far more rewarding than the fleeting glory and praise obtained by your labors in the workforce.More metaphors about fathering
Learning and Application ActivitiesPlease complete one of the following: