We talked to Alexa Abrenica, Ph.D. who is a professional lecturer at the Psychology Department of De La Salle University. She retired with the rank of Full Professor of the Psychology Department of DLSU where she served in various capacities for 37 years including Chair of the Psychology Department, Director of Graduate Studies of the College of Liberal Arts. She obtained her B.S. Psychology at the University of Sto. Thomas and her Masters in Guidance and Counseling as well as her Doctor in Philosophy in Counseling Psychology at De La Salle University.
She believes that fathers may set the path for their children’s future careers.
When Abrenica was a child, she would regularly go to the movies with her nanny. She shares that her nanny had to constantly be amused so she would be inspired to do her work at home. Abrenica’s father encouraged her to write about each movie they saw, which started her love affair with writing up to the time she attained her degree in Psychology. “Every time we would go to a movie, my father would say, ‘How was the movie? Write a paragraph about it.’ So that was how I got to writing.”
Abrenica believes that she and her husband were also able to similarly inspire their only son to take up a people-oriented profession because they also took up people-centered careers. According to Abrenica’s Generation Template Theory, children are more inclined to take up similar career paths as their parents or fathers if they experience a positive role model, positive experiences in said field, & socialized in said field or industry.
But first, it is up to busy, modern dads to find time for their kids.
Abrenica believes that fathers can have better quality time for their children, if they choose to do so. “Ang mga fathers ngayon, they don’t have time because they are busy looking for money to support the family so they have very little time for their children. Marami kasing activities ngayon eh. And then of course the gadgets, the internet. Pagdating sa bahay wala na ngang time, ayun pasok na naman sa computer. Games and many others. Andaming mga opportunities that they spend time on rather than spend time with their kids. Sa table hindi na nag uusap, lahat cell phone hawak pag nasa table. Unlike before when there no gadgets so they have time for their children.”
At the end of the day, a father’s involvement in parenting spells a lot for a child’s future success, or failure.
“Daddy Issues” are something that can be very real for children. Abrenica believes that dads equally affect the emotional and intellectual development of their sons and daughters. Sons learn how to be good paternal figures through their own fathers. Daughters tend to benefit from a close relationship with their fathers in her creative and professional life.
“If kids have good relationships with their dads, children are also able to transfer that kind of relationship to other people, they are able to relate to other people.”