Welcome Hands-on Dads Understanding the importance of fathers in child development?
For as long as I can remember, fathers have always needed a push from moms when it comes to parenting. Our culture has always dictated the fathers as disciplinarians, stepping in when the child’s behaviour needs to be rectified or when a sterner hand is needed.
While the nurturing part comes naturally to mothers, it is refreshing to see that fathers now a days don’t need to be coaxed into stepping up as much. Of course, they would all like to be involved in all the fun, but more and more dads are getting in touch with their maternal instincts and are playing an active role in bringing up their child.
When we were expecting our daughter, it was essentially a given that my husband, the father, would take hands-on role from pregnancy through birth (and beyond). He didn’t blink even once when I asked him to attend a birthing class with me, and as a matter of fact, there were only a few pregnant women in the room that were not accompanied by their anxious dads-to- be. This is an emerging style of parenting in modern times, where fathers can be seen “sharing the load” with their wives. Today, I feel extremely happy to see fathers taking leaves and bringing their children to my therapy centre, actively attending all meetings with therapists and deligently working with their children at home every single day.
An involved father is one who is engaged, available, and responsible. He is sensitive and supportive, nurturing and affectionate, and comforting and accepting. Involved fathers are strongly attached to their children, and in turn benefit the development of the children to a great extent.
Here are a few benefits of being a hands-on dad:
- Children with more engaged fathers tend to be smarter.
• Kids of emotionally involved dads are found to be less likely to suffer from behavioural problems.
• Kids of hand-on dads grow up taking risks and acquiring the necessary skills they need to be successful in life.
• When fathers are affectionate and supportive, it greatly affects the child’s social and cognitive development.
• Involved fathers instil a sense of well-being and self-confidence.
Fathers have a unique way of interacting with their kids and kids who report having a good relationship with their father have been found to be better at dealing with stress. Whatever the style of parenting, a father’s presence does have a unique way of influencing his child’s upbringing which has lifelong benefits.
So today, do remember to recognize and reward dads for being there and actively teaching important life skills to our children. It is important to the children and meaningful to the dads when you say, “Thank you, Job well done!”