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New fathers: the new father function

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The paternal function is changing fathers from being family heads and providers to carers who participate in their children’s education.  We are living in a time of evolution between old and new paternal models.

The transformation has been developing as important changes take place in society and these, in turn, impact directly on the family. 

These changes occur as women start going out to work,  are divorced, and new bonds and family models are formed.   We might say that diversity is the norm both in society  and at  family level.

The still existing traditional society father is  master of his home, authoritarian, and provider of the family’s resources, who leaves the children’s upbringing to his wife.  His paternal function with the children is to transmit his values and codes for them to follow in the future.  He attempts to guide his daughters towards men with the same ideals as his own.  This type of father has a symbolic presence in his children’s education.

A new style

Although the previous model is still in place,  a new paternal role is emerging.  The new current society father encourages bonding with his children. He wants to be a participant rather than a distant and authoritarian father. He is the relationship “carer” and is there to serve his children.   He tries to treat each child equally, showing more openly emotional involvement.  This type of father closely follows his children’s development and holds a personal presence in their education.

The new fatherly approach claims that children are benefitting, although obstacles and resistance still remain.  The working world presents problems for compatibility with the family world. Neither is it easy to maintain  flexibility for divorced fathers who do not live with their children.  They become weekend fathers who do not want to lose their children’s affection and they sometimes prefer to please than to teach.

It should also be taken into account that when two people with children separate and decide to form a new family, it is psychologically difficult to achieve equilibrium.  They have to know how to manage jealousy, competition,  and authority.  Sometimes it is the new parents, not the children, who gain new opportunities, and because they are loyal to the absent parent, they show their rejection..  This is why each of the parental functions must be clearly shown.

For the new paternal function to become established, rules must be maintained to favour work-family balance, supporting the education and awareness of men’s paternal feelings.  Responsible parenting.

Given the incorporation of one model after another, from the old to the new, it is important to consider including a father who sees more with love and acceptance than with authoritarianisms and reprisals.  Therefore, he does not have to be omnipotent.  Growing can 


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