Friday, January 18

Why is Having a Father so Important to A Child?

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All of us that are loyal social media users have obviously come across at least one happy fathers day meme over the past few days.  A Happy fathers day meme is not always a joke, it sometimes focuses on things our dads have difficulty doing, like using smart phones, browsing the internet etc and sometimes the funny acts that our fathers do mistakenly. All these situations tend to be a little amusing for us all; a happy fathers day meme is mostly made with an incentive to be funny or may be annoying. It’s all fun and jokes but let’s look at our fathers roles a little more seriously.

Did you know that babies with more involved fathers are more likely to be emotionally secure, confident in new situations, and eager to explore their surroundings? As they grow, they are more sociable. Toddlers with involved fathers are better problem-solvers and have higher IQs by age 3. They are more ready to start school and can deal with the stress of being away from home all day better than children with less involved fathers. Just think any happy fathers day meme ever told you that!

Daily activities matter

A study by Brigham Young University researchers finds that involvement in everyday activities, such as eating dinner together, watching TV, playing in the yard, and playing video games are even more important to share with Dad than big outings or trips, although those contribute to children’s development as well. Fathers and youths in the study experienced more satisfaction and cohesion in their family when fathers were involved in everyday core activities.

“Although participation in balance family leisure activities is important and needed, it was fathers’ involvement in the everyday, home-based, common family leisure activities that held more weight than the large, extravagant, out-of-the-ordinary types of activities when examining family functioning,” the authors said.

Fathers have a different approach

But how does a father’s influence differ from a mother’s? Isn’t one good parent enough? Fathers and mothers have unique and complementary roles in the home. Fathers encourage competition, independence, and achievement. Mothers encourage equity, security, and collaboration. What roles do your parents play? Think about it.

Playing

Fathers are physically active with children. They are more involved it activities that are unpredictable, arousing and exciting. Mothers, on the other hand, are “more modulated and less arousing” in their play. Children require both, for complete development and sociability.

Fathers encourage impulsive decisions

Where mothers tend to worry about their children’s safety and well-being, fathers encourage their children to take risks. Fathers tend to stand behind their children so the children face their social environment, whereas mothers tend to position themselves in front of their children, seeking to establish visual contact with the children.

Protecting

Perhaps it’s their size, strength, or inclination to protect, but fathers appear to be better at keeping predators and bad influences from harming their children. Paternal absence has been cited by multiple scholars as the single greatest risk factor in teen pregnancy for girls. When fathers are more involved, they can better monitor what’s going on in their children’s lives, including interaction with peers and adults.

Disciplining

Although mothers discipline more often, fathers discipline with a firmer hand. Fathers tend to be more willing than mothers to confront their children and enforce discipline, leaving their children with the impression that they in fact have more authority. Mothers, on the other hand, try to reason with their children and rely on kids’ emotional attachment to them to influence their behavior. Although Mom and Dad may not seem to be on the same page, this diverse approach can be very effective in disciplining children.

The good news about being a dad is that you don’t have to be spectacular at it to make a major positive contribution to your child’s life. W. Bradford Wilcox looked at data on delinquency, pregnancy, and depression in adolescents and compared the statistics with how the teens rated their fathers or if they lived with a single mother. He found that outcomes for teens in single-mother homes were about the same as those living with both a mother and a poor-quality father; teens had higher levels of delinquency, pregnancy, and depression. But teens living with their mother and father, with whom they had an average-quality relationship, experienced much lower negative outcomes. Teens who had a high-quality relationship with their father had even lower rates. Wilcox concludes that “great, and even good-enough dads appear to make a real difference in their children’s lives.”

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