Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Are Fathers as important as Mothers?
This is a really hard question. Fathers are important as mothers but for different reasons. Mothers are the nurturers and fathers are the stability that keeps things together.
When there are two parents in the home there is more security, love and acceptance of all and it helps keep everything in balance and in perspective.
Most people know that in the first five years of a child's life are the most informative and its also where the bonding takes place. I know that mothers are closer too their babies when they nurse than those who do not. But it in no way means that if a mother chooses not to nurse that she doesn't love her child. It's a matter of choice and what is best for baby to some, where as to some mothers they think a bottle is the best and easiest choice.
A child needs the love and guidance of a father as well as a mother. For teens it is known that if there isn't a good strong father or male role model its hard for young men to grow up into good loving fathers and providers. For the young teen girl if she doesn't have a father in the home or doesn't have a good father who shows love to his daughter then she will seek love else where at an early age.
For the young girl a father is the first male she will bond with and if she has a good relationship she will have a better relationship in adult life with men.
Dr. David Popenoe says, "Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring." Fathers have a direct impact on the well-being of their children.
The child welfare Information Gateway states: Children with involved, caring fathers have better educational outcomes. A number of studies suggest that fathers who are involved, nurturing, and playful with their infants have children with higher IQs, as well as better linguistic and cognitive capacities. Toddlers with involved fathers go on to start school with higher levels of academic readiness. They are more patient and can handle the stresses and frustrations associated with schooling more readily than children with less involved fathers.
The influence of a father's involvement on academic achievement extends into adolescence and young adulthood. Numerous studies find that an active and nurturing style of fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement among adolescents. For instance, a 2001 U.S. Department of Education study found that highly involved biological fathers had children who were 43 percent more likely than other children to earn mostly As and 33 percent less likely than other children to repeat a grade.
Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections with peers. These children also are less likely to get in trouble at home, school, or in the neighborhood. Infants who receive high levels of affection from their fathers (e.g., babies whose fathers respond quickly to their cries and who play together) are more securely attached; that is, they can explore their environment comfortably when a parent is nearby and can readily accept comfort from their parent after a brief separation. A number of studies suggest they also are more sociable and popular with other children throughout early childhood.
The way fathers play with their children also has an important impact on a child's emotional and social development. Fathers spend a much higher percentage of their one-on-one interaction with infants and preschoolers in stimulating, playful activity than do mothers. From these interactions, children learn how to regulate their feelings and behavior. Rough-housing with dad, for example, can teach children how to deal with aggressive impulses and physical contact without losing control of their emotions. Generally speaking, fathers also tend to promote independence and an orientation to the outside world. Fathers often push achievement while mothers stress nurturing, both of which are important to healthy development. As a result, children who grow up with involved fathers are more comfortable exploring the world around them and more likely to exhibit self-control and pro-social behavior.
One study of school-aged children found that children with good relationships with their fathers were less likely to experience depression, to exhibit disruptive behavior, or to lie and were more likely to exhibit pro-social behavior. This same study found that boys with involved fathers had fewer school behavior problems and that girls had stronger self-esteem. In addition, numerous studies have found that children who live with their fathers are more likely to have good physical and emotional health, to achieve academically, and to avoid drugs, violence, and delinquent behavior.
In short, fathers have a powerful and positive impact upon the development and health of children. For more information on the roles of fathers go to http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/fatherhood/chaptertwo.cfm
(the lovely pics are of my son and his daughter who is fighting for rights to spend time with his daughter. He has done nothing wrong just his ex is selfish and doesn't want him to have time with her.)