Dads And Their Need For Acknowledgement

March 20, 2022

In this post, I give my thoughts as to the probable reasons why dads constantly seek acknowledgment or at least some reassurance in what they do.

A few months back, I read a social media post that caused quite a stir and it’s about dads getting loads of applause when they do housework or when they help out their spouses in taking care of the kids. On the other hand, moms don’t get anything (not even a thank you) when they do those things because, well, that’s their “job” in the first place. A lot of fellow parents I know jumped in to give their opinion on the topic. It was a diverse discussion but I thought all the matters raised were all valid.

Dads need acknowledgement, confirmation, and reassurance that they are doing alright when it comes to raising their children and taking care of their family

Dads And Their Need For Acknowledgement

First, I think the very root of that hot topic just proved that we still live in a society that was very traditional: dads take care of finding the money to feed their family and moms stay at home to take care of the house and kids. I don’t blame anybody, in fact, I think this remains as the prevalent set up in most Filipino families.

Second, the conventionality of our society is also reinforced by the media and entertainment industries. Oftentimes, fathers are still depicted as domineering figures in films and literature. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with that because that’s just how it is in our society.

As such, when dads portray roles outside of those dictated by society, they are viewed as super dads who find the time (and energy) to balance work and family life. That holds true even in modern Filipino families in which mother and father are both working professionals.

That brings me to the question: why do dads still seek acknowledgement when they involve themselves in household chores and taking care of the children?

I’m not saying all dads are like that but I think it’s safe to say that most dads are. I’m not excluding myself. I’ve been very much involved in taking care of our kids from the very beginning but until now I still like to be acknowledged for doing a job well done. In fact, this has been a recent topic between me and my wife and I clearly understand her stance and the points that she raised (clue: I’m being a sort of a “credit grabber”).

Having said that, I believe we have to go back to how society portrays fathers. Again, our traditional society still paints Filipino dads as villainous figures who dictate every movement of their families. On the contrary, mothers are portrayed as caring individuals who are trusted by their children and who are the first to know how their children are. They automatically possess those characteristics and, thus, have nothing more to prove.

That brings me to the point that most modern Filipino fathers are constantly exerting an effort to break free from that stereotype and be genuinely loved and respected instead of being feared by their children.

One interesting point raised by a fellow dad is that males are wired by nature to provide while females are designed to nurture and care. I also believe that’s a valid point, after all, it’s instinct that’s coming into play.

On a more personal note, I think some dads seek acknowledgement because they just want to know that they’re doing fine. People should understand that dads are humans, too, and we are also prone to committing mistakes. We just want to hear that we are on the right track.

Moreover, society has to understand that dads are engineered by nature to protect their families, as such, they have to put up a tough exterior. But dads have to contend with internal turmoil as well. We also have fears and uncertainties, especially when it comes to the topic on how to put food on the table on the next day. Sometimes, being acknowledged for the small things that we do is the only precious possession that we have beyond all the chaos of this world.

Dads have their own dreams, too. All too often, we set aside those dreams in order to provide well for our family. We forgo buying the things that we want, the gadgets that we were dreaming to have for so long, and even the littlest hobbies that we wanted to do, all because we wanted to make sure that our kids are healthy and they have the nicest clothes and toys.

Oftentimes, we have to crush our own personal demons right away even if we wanted to take a break and just spend time to heal.

I’m sure there are other dads who can relate when I say that it sometimes hurts to see your peers breezing through their careers while you are having a difficult time achieving even just a fraction of the goals that you set for yourself.

I’ve been hit hard by the pandemic in terms of my career; I had to give up my job because my expertise was not needed anymore and I’m being offered a position that was beyond my expertise. I think our society should understand that it’s not being too picky but it’s about being in tune with my own strength and the things that I can do efficiently.

In spite of all the challenges and putting my personal dreams in the backseat, the only real achievement that I can really be proud of lately is being able to spend time with my kids. Again, I’m not perfect when it comes to this.

There were times when I thought that I was giving enough effort to my kids, especially to Miguel, only to find out later on that it can still be improved and more can be done. I was honestly dividing my time between playing with my children in the morning, then doing a bit of blogging and brand collaborations, and then playing with them again in the afternoon.

I had to earn money for myself, even just a little. Let’s face it, we are measured by the money that we make. It’s a fact that’s hard to admit and may even be taboo for some. That’s just the way it is, our tangible value is the money that we make. So, I have to make money, even just a miniscule amount, in order to retain my value (or at least feel that I have worth).

Anyway, I think the beauty of our current setup is that we can easily make adjustments anytime. I’ve included teaching my kids in our daily routine and it gives me great pleasure and pride to be able to do that.

In closing, I just want to say the topic about dads wanting acknowledgement comes with a degree of complexity. It’s beyond superficial and may even touch upon many subjects like dreams, career, mental health, and even relationships.

As a final word, I just want to say that a small thank you goes a long way. Both moms and dads deserve to be acknowledged for their efforts and for that, I salute all parents who are doing everything that they can for their children.

If you have thoughts to add, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.

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  1. This is very true! I do thank my husband for what he does. I know it can't be easy sometimes!

  2. I think that everything you say is true, but also true about moms. I think that it's really beneficial for both of us to acknowledge the effort put forth by the other, and to acknowledge that we've both had to put our dreams on hold to some extent. I bet if both spouses appreciated each other more, our marriages would be stronger.

  3. I don’t understand this whole scenario. But I do get that long ago, when women didn’t work outside the home that it was their duty to do all the housework and chores. Now that most homes have two working adults, it shouldn’t fall on just one spouse to do it all. I used to do it all when I was married.

  4. Dads, especially those that maintain an active role in their children's lives, deserve recognition for their dedication and the sacrifices they make for their families. Their hard work and commitment should not go unnoticed, as they play a crucial role in shaping the lives of their children.

  5. Great and very touching topic. I saw in my own father who always thought more about his wife and children than himself and my mother always praised him in front of all of us. So for us father was a super hero figure who would always protect us. I think that's the attitude of a responsible father, and it's important for partners to praise each other in front of their children.

  6. Now that you've said it, it do be like that sometimes and I'm grateful for all the things my husband does for me and have made sure to say it to him and let him know.

  7. I always acknowledge my husband as he is always doing things aorund the house thyat are much needed and he even makes me breakfast from time to time too. I love it and all for letting him know how much I appreciate him!