« All News

Father’s Hidden Ways in the Expression of Love

Image of Father’s Hidden Ways in the Expression of Love

Fathers, how are you showing your love to your children?  A father’s expression of love may often be subtle and covert compared to mother’s. For many fathers, affection and love are more often demonstrated by what they do than by what they say. Many fathers would rather communicate affection by performing acts of service or doing something supportive than by verbal expression (Floyd, 2006).

One of the most common ways fathers express their love is through acts of service. These acts may seem small, but they show that fathers are willing to go out of their way to make their children’s lives easier and more enjoyable. Whether fixing a broken bicycle or driving their child to school, fathers are generally ready to lend a helping hand.  Through these acts, fathers communicate that their child’s happiness and well-being are a top priority, a powerful expression of love.

Another way that fathers express their love is through teaching and mentoring. From teaching their children how to ride a bicycle to sharing their wisdom and life experiences, fathers uniquely shape their children’s lives. Through their guidance, fathers instil essential values and skills that will stay with their children for life. While this may not always be obvious, the time and effort fathers invest in their children’s development clearly expresses love and commitment.

Fathers also express their love through humour and playfulness. Fathers often use humour to bond with their children and create a light-hearted atmosphere, whether it’s telling jokes or engaging in playful banter. This can be especially important during difficult times, as humour can help alleviate stress and provide a much-needed break from the seriousness of life, especially in our fast-paced society. Fathers show they care about their happiness and well-being by making their children laugh and smile.

While some observers may be quick to criticise what seems to be a weak substitute for genuine affection, to many fathers, these acts are often externalised from a deep sense of selfless love and vulnerability. It is easy to devalue these acts of service as avoidance of genuine intimacy. Still, we must be careful about how we may unfairly examine a father’s expression of love against a “traditionally female” way of expressing affection. It is essential to recognise and appreciate the unique ways in which fathers express their love and affection and not compare or judge them against how mothers express love. Both parents have different roles and ways of demonstrating affection, and both are equally important in shaping the lives and well-being of their children.

As a society, we need to recognise and value the vital role fathers play in their children’s lives, and the unique ways in which they express and demonstrate their love. By doing so, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all families and help foster healthy relationships between fathers and their children.

In conclusion, while fathers may not always express their love in obvious or overt ways, their hidden expressions of love are no less powerful. Through acts of service, teaching and mentoring, humour and playfulness, and unwavering support, fathers communicate their love and commitment to their children. These hidden expressions of love may not always be recognised or appreciated.  Still, they are an essential part of the father-child relationship and can have a lasting impact on their children’s lives.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How are the children experiencing my love for them?

  2. How can I support my spouse’s expression of love to the children?

Written By: Yap Ching Keong, Counsellor, Fei Yue Community Services


Floyd, K. (2006). Communicating affection: Interpersonal behavior and social context. Cambridge University Press.