Father Involvement Crucial For Our Future
Dads have always been ones to play rough and tumble with their children, or gently fly infants around the house. Newer research is saying dads are spending more time with their children, becoming more involved in their education, and reading more with their own children than their fathers did. Men are exploring the flexibility of their work environments to meet their family responsibilities like using sick days to stay home with a child, or occasionally coming in a little late so a new mom can get a few hours sleep. Even with this increased dad time, 46 % of fathers still feel they would like more time with their children. (Leah Hennen, BabyCentre.com)
Fathers parent differently than mothers. They teach skills from a different perspective.
Research has found that children with involved fathers are better problem solvers, have enhanced cognitive development, greater self-esteem, fewer behavioural problems and are more physically competent. Daughters with involved fathers are more assertive, and have significant gains in intellectual development. Boys with involved fathers score better on IQ tests.
All of this translates to children who grow up to be healthier, smarter, more productive competent participants in our communities.
The benefit isn't just to the children either. Involved fathers are healthier, better adjusted, participate more in community and service organizations, and have improved relationships with their extended family. They tend to cope with work-related stress better, and are more professionally successful in the long run. (T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., 1992)
Where do we go from here? What is a priority need now is how to get fathers to participate more and in positive and effective ways, how to help busy stressed couples to cooperate as a team, and how fathers can stay in the picture after divorce. (John Hoffman, Today's Parent June 2002)
For further information call Public Health at 376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456, or visit our web site at www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca
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