My mission of promoting, supporting and advocating for play all stem from my core value of insuring the health and wellness of young children. It’s in that same context, insuring a child’s health and wellness, I bring up the topic of fathers.
As a mother, and now grandmother, I know…and society reinforces…the critical role I played in raising my children. My contributions are acknowledged by every level of society. This is not the case for fathers; to the detriment of their children.
FATHERS BOOST CHILDREN’S QUALITY OF LIFE
Study after study has shown when fathers are in the home and engaged with their children:
1. Children are less likely to live in poverty
A Department of Health report from 2012 noted families headed by single mothers had poverty rates more than 4x higher than those of married couples.
2. Children are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol
3. Children are less likely to become sexually active as teens
Again, studies show when fathers live in the home and are a part of their children’s lives:
1. Children do better in school
Children with no fathers in the home were 2x as likely to repeat a grade; Boys did better in reading when fathers read to them as well as modeled a love of reading themselves.
2. Children are less likely to run afoul of the law and/or do jail time
3. Children are more resilient and socially adept
Key difference between mothers and fathers: rough-housing! Rough-housing is highly beneficial on several levels.
4. Children have larger vocabularies
Fathers tend to use words that are outside their child’s current verbal development, broadening their scope/understanding of words.
5. Children are encouraged to take chances and be independent thinkers
All growth requires some kind of risk. Fathers tend to accept healthy risks more readily whereas mothers tend to focus on safety.
6. For BOYS: Having their father in the home and a positive relationship with their father
contributed to greater health and happiness long past childhood, impacting future marriage and satisfaction with Life even after retirement.
7. For GIRLS: Paramount to having their father in the home, and a positive relationship with their
father, was the impact it made to future relationships with men. Those future relationships tended to be emotionally intimate and fulfilling. Fathers, rather than mothers, make a greater difference in the quality of their daughters’ relationships with men. Well-fathered daughters approach Life and deal with Life’s stresses in healthier ways than when no father is present.
So make FATHER TIME every day, because FATHER TIME has a way of sneaking up on you ! Turn around and before you know it…you’re empty-nesters!
Yours in Play!
*Of course there will be situations where there won’t be both a mother and father in the home. In those cases, it is incumbent on the parent to provide access to a male-role model or female-role model from extended family members and/or organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters.