The Secret of Being a Good Father

Some articles are worth the share!

The secret of being a good father“, Sophie Hardach. BBC, June 11, 2019.

As we spotlight the role of fathers in child rearing and development, we came across this article addressing the importance of non-maternal caregivers. This includes fathers, grandparents, same-sex parents, step-parents and single parents. Despite the many articles involving parenting, most research focuses on the mother, with the father-child relationship taking a backseat. 

Now, new research has found that the social network for child-rearing is more complex than previously thought. Here are a few of our favorite highlights from the article:

  • “Research has found that fathers, just like mothers, experience a hormonal boost (Oxytocin) when caring for their babies which help with the bonding process. When dads are the main caregivers, their brains adapt to the task.” 
    Don’t be afraid to hand them the kid! Fathers will get more comfortable and confident with practice.
  • “Studies have found that babies with emotionally engaged dads show improved mental development as toddlers and are less likely to have behavioral problems.” 
    “Children who have fathers who are emotionally supportive display better relationships with teachers and peers.” 

    The article does state that a father-child relationship isn’t strictly the cause, but emotionally engaging with your child isn’t as hard as you think.
  • “Researchers have speculated that some dads don’t engage with their children when they are young because they are unsure about what they should do or if they are doing the right things, although new mothers are similarly hesitant.” 
    A little secret: When you become new parents, no one ever completely knows what they are doing. Learn to parent together as a team.
  • “Studies have shown that, regardless of gender, the parent who works during the day and comes home in the evening will typically bond with their children through play, while those who are with their children all day are more likely to bond via gentle caretaking.” 
    When you get home, this is your time to shine. Regardless of how tired you may feel, your child has been looking forward to playing with you all day and that is a great feeling.
  • “Globally, due to social and economic constraints, women still carry the bulk of parenting. While most modern dads want to be more active at home, the workplace has not adapted to this need.” 
    This means that “modern parenting” will feel like you are swimming against the current. Make decisions based on what is best for your family. This may include flexible or tag-teaming family leave, working from home or alternative scheduling, or requesting help from family members.
  • “Studies are showing that father-child relationships (including those of father figures such as step-dads) matter just as much as mother-child relationships, allowing for policy changes in countries like Scotland.” Yay!
  • “The secret to being a good father ultimately is to be emotionally available to your child and meeting their needs in a way that makes sense to you.” 
    Good parenting means being available for your child on both happy days and long, sleepless nights. The good and the bad. Even it’s just sitting them on your lap or holding their hand, time spent with your child is never wasted.

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