Shout out to the Dads!
Dads. Well, it is Father’s Day in June (in the UK), so let’s give them the stage for a minute.
In our house, we have the ‘traditional’ set up of Dad leaves the house to work, Mum works in (and from) the home and is generally around for the kids. We’re fortunate in that arrangement and I’m grateful for it.
My own dad passed away when I was young, so my Mum did everything (whilst grieving) which meant it wasn’t possible for her to be present, as I am. It would have been so tough for her, raising four kids alone, so I have the utmost respect for all Mums (or Dads!) who are flying solo, whatever the circumstances.
Dads, or at least a strong male influence, if one is available, can have such a positive impact in a child’s life. But a lot of the time we give all the kudos to mums, and Dad-people are often overlooked.
Did you know that post-natal depression happens to Dads too?
Dad’s life changes massively as well, but they haven’t had the crazy hormones or internal disco to get them used to the idea that another little human is coming into the world.
And Dads feel that immense pressure to take care of the child (and the Mumma) too. For some, that intense feeling of responsibility can knock the best of men off their feet. (Just like it can to us Mums!)
Recent research studies have shown that when fathers can be actively involved with their children, those children ‘do’ better.
Apparently, the impact starts during pregnancy. If the Dad is more involved then, he’s more likely to be involved once Baby arrives.
When fathers respond to their baby’s cries and help with the day-to-day care giving, a greater attachment is fostered. Secure attachments between father and child, last well into adulthood and help with academic and social development.
Kids want their dads to be proud of them, so they strive to do well. In turn, when dads show their support and affection it promotes strength, self-confidence and a sense of well-being in their children.
Other studies have found that fathers can have a huge impact on language development in children. They often ask more questions than Mums and use different words. This helps children’s vocabulary grow, leading to better language and conversational skills. Highly developed language skills correlate with better academic achievement. If a Dad-person isn’t available, maybe ask a trusted male friend for a chat?
Apparently, the more time Dads spend playing and engaging with their children, the better their maths and language development is at around 10 or 11. (that’s a random one isn’t it!)
My personal favourite one here … when Dads get involved with looking after the kiddos, the home is a more harmonious place! Yep, the research also notes this, because, when the care is shared there are less arguments, and less conflict strengthens the home relationships and also has long-term benefits for children. Boom.
But to be fair, as we’re giving kudos to the Dads here, the opposite could be true if you’re a stay-at-home-dad!
On that note, I’d just like to say ‘thanks’ to my husband, father of my children, and all-round great guy. He’s been hands on since well before kids. We’ve always shared everything 50/50. Our lives have twisted and turned and we now live, as I said, in a ‘traditional’ arrangement of me taking on the lead with our kids, but he’s present and engaged and involved. For which I’m grateful, and I know my children’s lives are far richer for it.
May the Father figure in your life enjoy his Father’s Day, and remember how important and valuable his involvement is. May he also spend the day being jumped on and pulled at by small wonderous humans he helped to create!
I use various sources to write these news articles including the NHS (UK & Scotland), the Australian Govt. Dept. of Health, World Health Organisation (WHO), Harvard University childhood health articles and what I experience as a mum.