Do you remember the first word that you tried to teach your child? Or the first word that your child utters. Most of the time it will be the word “mom” or various variations of it.
In the same way when the child can speak, one of the most common words that you hear them say is “mom” in all pitches, sounds and tones.
Similarly, when a kid is cranky. Injured, happy you find the kid running to its mom most of the time even when both parents are present.
The point that we are trying to make here is that somewhere child rearing is given primarily to the mother. And the involvement of the father in many cases not only becomes low. But also absent when the family goes through issues like separation or divorce.
- Some Dad Facts on an Involved Father
- Benefits of father’s involvement in child development
- Note to parents
If we look at the growth and development years of the children, the father’s engagement is very crucial and very important.
According to the theories of child development, the first five to seven years of child development are contributed about 80% of the child’s personality. In the parenting of a child, the father’s role is coming at second.
In our society, fathers are mostly expected to play their role on the back end in raising the children because they must take care of financial support of the family. However, it is proven from numerous studies that involvement of the father in child raising contributes to positive child development.
If you are a father and looking for the best strategies to engage your child to teach the essential skills and manners, then keep reading this blog till the end.
Some Dad Facts on an Involved Father
When we use the term involved father, we mean a father who spends more time with his children. Who aids his child’s day today problems and renders emotional support?
A father who is aware of the happenings of his child’s life. One that sets clear direction, boundaries, and expectations to his child. Father who is involved in positive parenting and non-coercive disciplining.
In short and involved father is one that engages with his child, is available for his child, and takes responsibility for the wellbeing and development of his child.
Children with involved fathers are.
- Comparatively less likely to repeat a grade.
- They are less likely to drop out from school.
- Less likely to suffer from anxiety or depression.
- Less likely to commit suicide.
- Less likely to be arrested for a crime.
- Less likely to suffer from drug and alcohol abuse.
- Less likely to have contact problems
- Do better in school. Comparatively do better in mathematics and verbal tests
- Most likely to go to college or higher studies.
- Most likely to find stable employment.
- More likely to display positive social behaviour stop.
- More likely to handle stress effectively.
Recent studies illustrate that the children actively engage with their father in the first year of the development will lead the child to increase their cognitive abilities, decision-making skills, and the power of exploration.
Father’s contribution to child’s development
Father – Child Play
We all know, and we have observed that the way boys and girls play are different. This difference is seen right from an early age itself. It continues well through adulthood.
It is of little or no surprise that the way mother chooses to play with her children will be different from the way a father chooses to play with his children.
Most of the child time father subconsciously plays with his children in a much more aggressive, physical, and highly stimulating way. With this type of play children learn more about their body and their limits. They are faced with much more spontaneous challenging and fun activity. This helps them in developing their problem-solving skills.
An active father can help their child while playing with the child. It gives them an opportunity to explore the world in a safe environment. And teach kids on rules and applicability in the world, teach kids how to talk and behave in a certain way.
With highly entertaining type of play that father usually engages with his child the level of excitement and emotions are high. It is not a rare sight to see kids squealing and jumping and running around when they play with their dads. While the noise levels might be up. These type of play helps children practice their feelings and helps them in regulating their emotions in a secure environment. These are foundations for a stable child development.
Child’s Physical Fitness
We have discussed before that father tends to interact with children more by way of playing with them. This helps the child to build physical fitness.
It is common in many households. Or we ourselves might have experienced. That mothers are worried about what their children eat and drink. While fathers talk about health and fitness. Such as exercise, gym, trekking, cycling, and outdoor activities.
Also, men tend to watch sports much more than women. They appreciate it and they talk about it. And they are very welcoming about it.
This translates into them being very supportive of their children taking up sport activities. They find meaning and purpose in it. They go the extra mile to get involved and participate in their children’s activities.
Broaden Comfort Zone
Men tend to be more exploratory than women. In the same way when it comes to parenting fathers tend to push their child’s limits. They are much more likely to give them challenging task more than mothers.
Example it is more likely that fathers cut wood for the fireplace than mothers. And it is even more likely that fathers will ask their children to carry it for them. While a mother would prefer their child to be inside, cosy, and safe.
It is more likely that fathers take their children for exploratory trips into the woods then a mother would do.
Such things post new challenges and make the kid come out of their comfort zones. When your kids attempt these challenges and they come out victoriously. They not only built their self-confidence, but they also develop a habit to embrace challenges and move from their comfort zone when required.
Improve cognitive development
Research shown that as early as 5 months children with involved fathers have much higher cognitive development. And as they progress in age the benefits become much more profound. And more apparent by the time they reach school.
Improve communication skills
We all know that the way men and women communicate are different. Men tend to communicate to put a point across or collect information so that they can problem solve the issue.
Usually the mode in which they interact is through open ended questions searches what happened? When did this happen? Where did it happen? Etc.
For children search questions are leading and will force them to think and answer to these questions. This not only help children in the comprehension but also indirectly helps them improve their vocabulary and their communication skills.
Fathers who are more involved with their children also tend to be more responsible for them. They take the role as the father seriously and as part of the role they take the responsibility of providing for them adequately.
Search attitude helps the child to grow in an economically well off and stable surroundings. Research has shown the children who have such security economically tend to do better in school.
While other reasons for this can be because with the economic stability access to much more better resources can be provided for the child. Or the fact that likelihood that the father is educated which has help in his current economic situation.
Whatever be the reason when an involved father provides for his children an environment of sound, healthy and stable home.
Just the same way that men watch sports more than women. It is also safer to say that men watch news more. They take keen interest in the happenings of the world affairs much more than women.
When men tend to do this the children of the house indirectly start getting aware of the happenings of the world. When the father is an approachable person, the children also ask questions on what is happening. This gives the father the opportunity to educate his children about the world and its functioning.
Tip: Have your little one on you lap when you are reading the morning paper. Or your girl next to you when you are watching the news. Talk your opinion on it. While she may not understand it fully, she is still learning.
A mother by nature tends to fuss round her kid. Her maternal instincts and nurturing skills always try to do things for her child. So, the child does not feel uncomfortable.
Example giving a kid a bath. The simple responsibility given to a mother would mean that she will most likely make the kids stand. While she does all the work of giving him a bath.
While, when given such a responsibility to the father. Most likely the father would give the kid bucket of water post ensuring that the waters of the right temperature, Then the soap which is needed. And will stand in watch the kid tries to take a bath.
This does not mean that the father is irresponsible. This is the father’s instinctive way of coaching the kid to become more independent. These type of small little things helps in empowering the kid. It helps the kid take up more responsibility. And become more independent.
Help kids come up with stress and Frustration
Men have different coping mechanisms than women. Women are more expressive when dealing with stress and frustration. Sometimes this can make the child very anxious because the child is not in control of the situation.
However, a man by nature is not so. He maintains a calm and composed demeaner. In a healthy home the kid watches how the mother relies on the father for security and comfort in times of crises.
When the father is involved and is always available for the children. Such security reduces a lot of stress from the child. And the child also learns to cope up with stress and frustration from the way the father behaves.
Set standards for relationship
There are numerous movies where the father is the main villain for his daughters budding love. One of the main roles of the father is be a protector.
So, he instinctively draws boundaries on who comes in to be part of his family and who stays outside. This sets the foundation of how the child perceives different types of relationships.
The way the father interacts with this child is usually how the child will relate to the others in their life.
Remember: In most cases the daughter subconsciously looks for the qualities of a father in her life partner. And son in most cases turns out to be like his father with his children.
Happier and less Anxious Kids
When the father is more involved in child raising. It not only brings the level of stress down from the mother. It also weaves a much more stable environment for the child.
Children from healthy families are much happier and less anxious then children from single parent or broken families. The family values learnt by the child by observing form the formation foundation for their child for healthy relationships later in life. They also can contribute to lifelong happiness and success.
Note to Fathers
Emotional support is much as important as physical support to your child. according to studies, most of the emotional support was given by mother to the child but in the recent years where both parents are working to make their home a haven, the child needs to get emotional attention and support in the school matters, while playing, and reading by their father.
Recent studies explain that the child receive emotional support from both mother and father will perform better in life as compared to those who receive support from a single parent.
It will boost up their self-esteem and make them live happier and more confident. Another study shows that the children were less prone to stress and frustration who were emotionally attached to their father.
So, you must spend at least an hour with your child before bed and must listen to their daily stories of school. It will increase their self-confidence and self-esteem that leads them to live a better life in the adult age.
Some of the way’s fathers can be involved in the children’s life are listed below
- Try to spend time with your infant. Even though they may not be able to reciprocate immediately the foundation of feeling secure starts right from the time of birth.
- Healthy physical touch is good for your child. Carrying them and going for a shopping. Keeping them on your lap while you watch a movie. Hugging them before going to bed. All this counts and adds up to one strong bound between you and your child.
- Engage with your kid by talking or reading or even singing to them. You can read out your newspaper aloud will you baby sit on your lap. Anything to get them comfortable with your voice and start feeling secured in your presence.
- Play appropriate games with your children whenever you get the time to play. It can be simple games such as peek-a-boo to your toddler have a full-fledged basketball match with your teenager. Children no matter at what age is like to play with their father. Even a middle-aged son will still enjoy a game of cards with his father.
- Involve children and do chores together. Cleaning your car need not be something that you have to do alone. Make you child part of the activity. It not only helps you in bonding with your child but also gives you an opportunity to teach to your child.
- Have one activity which is exclusively yours with your child. It can be bedtime activity such as reading do you kid. Or it can be doing dishes with your kids. Or dropping your kid to school. Stick to the schedule and follow through with it. This will not bring about a structure to your interaction and help you interact with your child. But will also take away the pressure of having to entertain your child with some spontaneous activity.
According to the researches, children start to learn by observational learning in their development years. They learn to speak, react, and respond in a way that they see their parents do.
Most of the parents did not care about these issues. They shout and fight with each other in front of their children that will negatively affect their child’s mental and emotional state of wellbeing.
As a good father your involvement is very critical to the mental and physical wellbeing of your child. So, remember to be a good role model for your child so that they can make us very proud by the way they turn out in life.
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