Friday, April 03, 2009

Dad: King or Mouse?

There's this Arabic family we know. There's only one man in the house and that's the four girls' dad.

He's not perfect. I really like him though.

He can be deceptively easygoing. He's got this way of gently teasing, which can drive his eldest mad. He's not outwardly controlling and places absolute trust in his family to do what they're meant to. When he tells them off, it's not with an angry tone. He casts it in a lightly sardonic comment and they never seem to need any more than that. He seems in perfect control of his household. When his wife went into mourning further than he thought appropriate for a close relative, he didn't shy away from the threat of divorce if she continued. He's the major breadwinner, though his wife works the occasional part-time job and he's bought a nice big house for them all. He's educated, very considerate of his guests (refusing to eat until they're all comfortable and well served), open when in a discussion and greatly encouraging of his daughters' different personalities and dreams. Together with his wife, he's instilled in them a knowledge of their culture and language obvious in their interactions with the world.

There're some aspects where he could probably interfere more, but he seems to have chosen not to.

There's nothing immediately obvious that screams power about him. Overall, though, I think of him as an alpha dad.

I think that he's a demonstration of what they say: the sign of having power is that you don't need to use it.

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