Thursday, September 5, 2013

Daddy's Role

It is Throwback Thursday here at To Write a Better Story. This article, about the importance of dads in the lives of their children, was first written and published in the Review Atlas in 2001.

The Role of Father is Increasing

Of all the societal changes and family dynamic shifts over the last decade, the most beneficial to our children is the ever increasing roles of fathers.

They are changing more diapers, giving baths, playing with their children and getting more and more involved with the hands-on day-to-day responsibility of parenting.

Our children not only need and enjoy that interaction but research also indicates that they thrive on it!

According to the Parents As Teachers Born to Learn curriculum, there are specific benefits to children who have fathers that are actively involved in children's lives.

For example, infants may cope better with strangers when they have formed a strong attachment to both fathers and mothers directly affecting their future ability to form meaningful and successful adult relationships.

Also, infants learn better to deal with a variety of people and personalities when they have experienced the different touch, vocal and play patten of father as well as mother.

A young child's brain development is actually enhancing through the different stimulation provided by mothers and fathers.

Fathers are able to hold their infant's attention longer in more vigorous and enjoyable types of play than the mother can in her typical reciprocal cooing games.

my guy & our youngest
Let's look at it from a small child's perspective. Dad is bigger, louder, his voice is deeper, he tickles harder and wrestles more often.

These masculine mannerisms give children opportunities to experience a balanced social experience.

Mothers tend to nurture, hug and kiss the owies away.

Also, women are more verbal then men therefore we tend to talk more to our children thus encouraging their language development more than our male counterparts. But fathers teach children other ways to communicate.

Children who interact regularly with their fathers can read facial expressions and other nonverbal modes of communication better.

But hey! Dads can be nurturing too! In fact, boys with warm, nurturing fathers are likely to grow up as self confident, academically successful, generous and compassionate individuals.

Girls whose fathers have been respectful and nurturing toward them tend to be gender confident and relate well to boys and men during their teen and adult years.

Parents As Teachers says that future school success in children can be directly correlated to children who have had fathers actively participate in the early, formative years of infancy, toddler hood and preschool. In fact, boys are more likely to be readers if their fathers read to them!

So, step in there fathers. Don't let us mothers scare you off. You don't have to be confident in your ability to parent as much as you need the confidence and self-assurance that your love will guide you.

Mothers, don't surmise that you know it all when it comes to childcare and rearing. Encourage your child's father or another competent, caring male figure to take part in the above mentioned aspects of parenting.

Guys can be effective disciplinarians, playmates, nurturers and caretakers.

We as women, and as a society, need to learn to appreciate his parenting style. Our children clearly benefit from his interactions. Encourage his style, even if it is a bit unique. Even if you don't understand it. Understand he doesn't need to change a diaper exactly like you do. Encourage your children and their father to wrestle together and involve him in the future and your children will be the one to reap the sweet fruit of a positive male role model.

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