Updated: May 21, 2020
Part 1 : I write this from an Indian/Asian point of view, where mostly the gender roles are strongly defined, Mother being the gentle but affirmative guide and father looked upon as a provider and occasional disciplinarian.
Though pop culture has changed the way fathers are being portrayed - involved and participating, but don’t get over pressurised by the social media videos, where dads are dressing as princesses and playing tea party with their children (though do it if you want to). I do feel women, typically are better prepared for being a parent through years of social coercing, boys however never really get that gentle easing-in to the idea of becoming a parent. No, none of our friends spoke about it, even while they had their own children, neither did our parents guide us, most of us landed on the job completely underprepared.
Fathers have mostly been credited for their role in providing materialistic support or success, but rarely for their role in social and emotional development of the children. However there’s no denying that a father plays important role in early child development, knowingly or unknowingly. The most fundamental aspects of a father’s involvement are engagement with children, availability for them and responsibility to provide for a healthy development of the family. Studies time and again have demonstrated, increased success ratio, more inquisitiveness and emotionally balanced children in households where fathers play an active role in their development. I would like to share the importance of the role that fathers play and also because not many articles are available to guide dads.
Involved Dad = Successful Children
Several reports and studies have shown that children with more involved fathers show signs of being emotionally secure and are confident in new situations from a very early age. They are more eager to explore their surroundings, become more sociable and become better problem solvers compared to their peers. Based on a study done by U.S Department of Education, it was found that children are more likely to earn better grades if their fathers were involved in their studies and regular curriculum activities. Most Dads alway push their kids to do their best, bowl faster, red the bicycle harder, there could be a mix of caution but its always about pushing the envelope further.
Everyday Activities are important
Involvement in everyday activities like eating dinner together, watching TV or engaging in play regularly, weighs higher than occasional trips or picnics. These consistent and regular activities contribute to children’s development as they experience more satisfaction and cohesion in their family through everyday core activities. Even small things like spending sometime a ask how was their day, what was different about it, can help the child to express themselves better, also a dad’s advice is likely to be different than a mothers which would give a choice to a child in handling similar situation with different approaches.
Daddy’s approach is different
Not only does a father’s influence differ from a mother’s, but fathers also tend to do activities differently compared to moms. and this really gives children interactive experiences that are unique and diversified. Studies show that mothers often use verbal interaction with their children to accomplish tasks while fathers tend to engage with the children in the task itself to accomplish it together. This helps children benefit from the different styles to hone multiple skill sets at the same time.
Even while playing, fathers are more likely to induce physical activities and create a scenery of excitement with modulated risk; and this helps children deal with different situations with a healthy balance of emotions and physical contact without losing control.
Discipling them your way
Although mothers discipline their children more often, fathers discipline kids with a firmer hand. This diversified manner of disciplining kids really help with the emotional and mental growth of a child where he/she can understand the different ways people can reprimand or handle situations. This helps the child grow into a well-balanced individual who can take control of situations and act in a well thought out manner rather than impulsivity.
Dads influence boys and girls differently, boys learn how to interact with the world by watching their father treat people around him including women, Girls on the other hand expect men to behave the way she has seen her father, being a positive role model ensures his children grow up to be positive, balanced individuals with healthy relationship with the opposite sexes and the world in general.
This comes as a part 1 of a series of articles on fatherhood and parenting. My next write up will talk about the ways dads can interact with children on a daily basis to create a well-harmonised and balanced relationship with their children.