My Daddy is the best!
Before birth, a child spends nine months in mother’s womb. Mom and baby, since inception, form a close bond. The father is the protector and nurturer of this bond.
A father is always his child’s first hero. Becoming a father can get a little overwhelming. Your child watches you, copies you and learns for you. Researchers have found that love or rejection from mothers and fathers equally affects kids’ behavior, self-esteem, emotional stability and mental health. In some cases, however, the withdrawal of father’s love plays a bigger role in kids’ problems with psychological adjustment, delinquency and substance abuse. And for others, the presence of a father’s love may do more to boost children’s sense of well-being and improve their emotional and physical health.
Let’s extrapolate how fathers impact their children.
Emotional Well Being
Fathers are central to the emotional well-being of their children and can be capable caretakers and disciplinarians. Studies show that if a child’s father is affectionate, supportive and involved, he can contribute greatly to the child’s cognitive, linguistic and social development.
Children who bond with their fathers tend to have less behavioral problems and are somewhat inoculated against alcohol and drug abuse. When fathers are less engaged, children are more likely to drop out of school earlier and to exhibit more problems in behavior and substance abuse.
According to a study at the University of Illinois, children of fathers who take the time to ask about what they learned in school and their day-to-day social activities and relationships do better in school than kids who don’t have that kind of input or interest. Researchers at the University of Oxford in England reached the same conclusion about the link between paternal involvement and academic success in their study of 17,000 British school children. Says psychologist Eirine Flouri, one of the study’s authors, “An involved father figure reads to his child, takes outings with his child, is interested in his child’s education, and takes a role equal to the mother’s in managing his child.” Children with this type of dad were more likely to get good grades in school, she found.
A Role Model for Sons & Daughters
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.
Boys model themselves after their fathers. They will look for their father’s approval in everything they do, and copy those behaviors that they recognize as both successful and familiar. Thus, if dad was abusive, controlling, and dominating, those can be the patterns that their sons will imitate and emulate. However, if father is loving, kind, supportive, and protective, boys are more likely to be like that.
Being a father is a big responsibility. Before becoming a father, one should take a moment and reflect on the kind of father they want to be and the kind of upbringing they want to give to their child. A lot depends on it.