Parental love is a paradox, simultaneously delivering the expectation of a safe harbor with the consequences of discipline. As the father of an adult daughter and son, plus the grandfather of four knucklehead boys (Hurricane, Tornado, Crash, and Train Wreck), I’ve learned some things about this paradox.
All the hours logged as Dad and Poppy have often caused me to contemplate how different are the roles of mother and father, especially in the overt demonstration of parental love. And it’s fascinating how the manifestation of this love differs between mother and father – biologically, emotionally, and experientially.
A mother’s love, at once gentle and fierce, is observed in almost all animals, not just humans. No doubt you’ve heard this simile: “… as sweet as a mother’s love,” and this warning: “Never get between a momma bear and her cub.” I’ve witnessed and have been the happy recipient of this side of the parental paradox, and there truly is no other force like it in nature.
However, a human father’s love is more often associated with the other half of the paradox by unfortunate references like “tough” and “strict.” Here’s a warning no one has ever heard from a father:[Continue Reading]