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Why Raising Kids Who Fear You Isn’t As Evil As It Sounds

flickr / Reut C

The following was syndicated from Quora for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at

Does a good father need to be feared?

Absolutely, a good father needs to be feared. Otherwise, he’s not doing his job. But it may not be the type of fear you normally imagine.

Just as there are different types of love, there are different types of fear. For instance, you might have romantic love for your girlfriend and familial love for your sister. They are both women, you have love for both of them, but the types of love are not interchangeable. Generally speaking, you wouldn’t have romantic love for your sister.


Similarly, there are different types of fear. Normally, we think of fear as the feeling we experience during a scary movie, or when an especially mean dog chases us. However, there is a different type of fear based on healthy respect, and that’s what a good father garners.

A good example is a campfire on a very cold night. Sitting next to that fire, you love and appreciate the light and warmth. Even in freezing weather, a campfire makes us feel safe and content.

But we do not fear the fire in the classic sense. In other words, the campfire does not summon feelings of horror and dread. Which is interesting, because it’s quite capable of inflicting deadly harm to human bodies. Yet, we still do not fear it. Despite the potential danger, we are drawn to it.

When a father is able to summon this type of fear from his children, he’ll be able to train them to be good and kind.

We do, however, have a healthy respect for the fire. There’s a line we aren’t willing to cross, because we know what will happen.

In that sense, a good father is also feared. We love him, we appreciate the warmth and protection he provides, and we feel safe in his presence. We are even drawn to him. But there are certain lines we aren’t willing to cross. Why? Because a good father garners fear based on healthy respect from his children.

When a father is able to summon this type of fear from his children, he’ll be able to train them to be good and kind. He is their light and warmth in a dark and cold world, and they will love him for it.

Ross Trittipo is a sales copy writer. Read more from Quora below: