Dads are an integral part of a child’s life.
Research shows that confident dads who embrace parenting have children who show fewer behavioral problems prior to the teen years.
An article in The Guardian, highlights a study that came out in 2016. “A man’s attitudes towards fatherhood soon after his child’s birth, as well as his feelings of security as a father and partner, are more important than his involvement in childcare and household chores when it came to influencing a child’s later behavior.”
“It is the emotional connection and the emotional response to actually being a parent that matters enormously in relation to later outcomes for children,” said Maggie Redshaw, a developmental and health psychologist at the University of Oxford and co-author of the research. Here is a direct link to the full article. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/nov/22/mens-attitude-to-fatherhood-influences-child-behaviour-says-study
So, how do you follow through? Well, Psychology Today, of course, comes to the rescue if you need some helpful suggestions.
“If your wife is breast feeding, you can bring her the baby and help them get comfortable. Change diapers, give baths, rock the baby, cuddle the baby, read to the baby, and sing the baby to sleep. Hold your baby next to your naked chest so that s/he can smell you, feel you, hear your heart beat. Know that your presence, touch, face and voice are very important to your baby. And stay aware of your feelings. Being in touch with your feelings will help you and your baby to develop a healthy emotional bond.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/overcoming-child-abuse/201106/how-new-dads-can-become-great-parents?collection=96852
In an article in Parent’s Magazine, the author breaks down the impact on girls and boys.
“There are some positives specific to a good father-son relationship. For example, the researchers at the University of Oxford also report that boys who have involved fathers are less likely to get in trouble with the police as they get older. Other pluses, according to experts: A good dad can be a positive role model for boys and help them to adopt a healthy gender identity as well as a better awareness of their feelings and emotions.”
However, if Dad isn’t in the picture, an uncle, grandfather, or good friend can fit the bill.
“Someone other than the boy's birth father can provide a beneficial male influence. Single mothers can find alternative role models for their boys in an uncle, grandfather, or good friend. If no relatives or close acquaintances are available, then mentoring programs such as Big Brothers can provide a willing volunteer.
And, there is something to Daddy’s girl!
“Girls, too, reap some special benefits from having a close father-daughter bond. According to research from Vanderbilt University, girls who had close, positive relationships with their fathers during the first five years of life tended to reach puberty later than girls who had more distant relationships with their fathers. In addition, the University of Oxford researchers noted that girls who had more involved fathers were less likely to face mental health problems later in life. Genuine praise and admiration from a father can help his daughter grow up to be an independent, confident woman.”
Please check out these three great articles listed for a more in-depth look at this topic!