Science and human heart both say dads important to a kid's life
"Most fathers have a natural propensity to roughhouse, to not let children get away with things or manipulate. They are less likely to overprotect. Dads are important to reading skills and learning to trust your instincts. Moms are not supposed to be second dads and dads are not supposed to be another mom," Farrell said.
Parenting leaves an indelible mark that is unique for each father, Farrell said. What Dad adds to his son's or daughter's life will "seep in like syrup drips into a pancake."
Jonathan Ubri knows that, both from his own lack of a father and from the father figures he found to guide him as a teenager. Through their examples, he knows what a dad can contribute to a child and he has plans for Calder and for the siblings he's sure the little boy will one day have.
When he started dating his wife Celeste, he was, in his own words, "constantly analyzing" her dad, Randy Russell of Sugar City, Idaho. Comparing him to his other mentors, he recognized there are different types of fathers and that he could learn from each of them. He likes the fact Russell didn't have to tell his kids to be good. He is a good man who provided that example and the expectation never had to be put into words.
Celeste Ubri stays home with Calder and by the time his dad, who is a campaign manager for KSL Local Interactive, gets home, "He's kind of done with me and bored," she said. "Calder's a lot more affectionate with his dad than he is with me. It's pretty funny. Jonathan reads him books. They play a lot. I entertain Calder with toys. Jonathan just plays with him."
Even without a father to emulate in his home, Jonathan Ubri was fundamentally decent. "I always had a good conscience; I was not ever ill-intentioned," he said. He wants to pass that on.
His goals are both lofty and breathtakingly simple. Jonathan Ubri wants to be the go-to guy for his kids, a leader they look up to and a place they go for love, absolutely certain they will get it from him, no matter what. He never, by the way, felt unloved. His mom made sure of that, he said.
He said he will know he was the type of dad he wanted to become if, when Calder is grown and faced with a choice, a question or a dilemma, he responds: "I'll ask my dad. He probably knows."
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