There are probably as many ‘responsible mom vs. goofy dad’ jokes as there are ‘wife vs. mother-in-law’ jokes.
Caricatures of dads, who can’t change a diaper or put a baby to sleep or tie the kid’s shoelaces etc. are plenty, right?
But the fact of the matter is, a good amount of recent studies are confirming what’s been an unacknowledged fact—when it comes to parenting, dads matter too… a lot actually!
Research now shows that children with actively engaged fathers
- display fewer behavioral problems when growing up
- get better grades at school
- develop positive self esteem
- forge healthier relationships with the opposite gender
- are less likely to endure sexual abuse (isn’t that great!)
- when compared with kids whose fathers are not as active in the parenting process.
- And guess what, involved fathers are not only a necessity for boys, but for girls too!
The father-daughter relationship dynamic has also been another interesting area of recent studies. Analysis conclude that daughters with involved fathers grow up with higher levels of self-confidence, are sure of their life-goals and are less likely to end up in abusive relationships.
So how can parents handle these facts about the value of the father?
- Dads need to invest in the parenting process actively—especially with their time
- Moms should not feel jealous if a child gets closer to the dad
- When it comes to daughters, moms should not act as gatekeepers in determining how close the daughter gets to the dad—this prevents the father-daughter relationship from flourishing naturally
- Dads need to demonstrate involvement—simple activities like teaching sports, reading, going on outings, checking on the child’s education regularly are some of the recommended ways to do this
- Understand that Moms and Dads parent their children differently… and that’s perfectly okay!
When parents actively participate in the upbringing of their children with mutual understanding of each other’s role in parenting, children will invariably flourish.
Can anything delight parents more?!
So dads, do start making more time for your children—you will end up with a happier and wonderful family.