There are at least three types of father-child relationships. All three demonstrate ways that fathers relate to their children. These are observed patterns in father-child relationships. The three styles of fathering include the dominant father, the developing father, and the passive father. Obviously, the developing father is the best model.
The Dominant Father. This type of father must be in control. It is almost a military type father. He must always be in command. His word is the law of the household. He often uses intimidation to bring everyone in the household under his domination.
The dominant father is quick to discipline children, almost always as punishment rather than correction. He is known often to raise his voice and display anger. He controls his children with fear. Therefore, the father-child relationship is often void of love. He cannot be questioned and spends very little time listening to his children.
The Developing Father. This is the father who adjusts to the needs and developmental stages of his children. He understands that the way he relates to his children depends upon their ages and differing developmental tasks for each age group. One of his best traits is simply listening to his children. He wants to know what they are thinking.
The developing father is flexible in his relationship with each child. He wants to learn to be a better father. His prominent trait above all others is love for his children. They know he loves them. He expresses his love for them often.
The Passive Father. This father is satisfied not to be an active part of his children's lives. He may often see his job is to provide financially for them, leaving everything else to the mother. He is not usually interested in actively parenting with her.
Unfortunately, the passive father is not very often personally involved with his children. He usually takes little time to be involved with them from day to day. He may not have a positive role model for fathering from his own childhood.