A Father’s Role In His Child’s Development

Father’s Day is just around the corner and many of us are as clueless as always when it comes to buying our dads presents. Almost all of us celebrate Father’s Day but few know its origins. Father’s Day officially began in Spokane, Washington in 1910, when 27-year-old Sonora Dodd proposed it as a way to honor the man who raised her when her 16-year-old mother died in childbirth. Dodd was at a church service thinking about how grateful she was for her father when she had the idea for Father’s Day, which would follow the footsteps of Mother’s Day but would be celebrated in June, her father’s birthday month.

The movement gained plenty of momentum over the years but didn’t receive national-event recognition until 1924, under then-President Calvin Coolidge. The holiday gained further traction during World War II, and in 1966 when President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed the third Sunday of June to be Father’s Day. Moreover, President Richard Nixon made it a federal holiday six years later.

A Father’s Role In His Child’s Development

So now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at the significance of father figures in our lives. While mothers play a vital role in a child’s upbringing, fathers complement mothers and provide different perspective on matters, and as a result, are an alternate source of inspiration and intellectual thought development.

According to previous researches, the presence of fathers in the home is tied to lower rates of maltreatment;  unrelated male figures and stepfathers in households tend to be more abusive than biological, married fathers. The overall quality of the relationship between the mother and father also has an important indirect effect on the odds of maltreatment.

Because of these undeniable facts and figures there have been significant efforts in recent years to research the role of fathers in child development and the creation of programs to strengthen the fathers’ capacities.

David Popenoe, a sociology professor at Rutgers University, led the relatively unknown field of fatherhood and its role in child’s development. Using his unmatched expertise on the subject, Popenoe based his opinions on data gathered from resources such as the US Department of Health and Human Services, the National Fatherhood Initiative and the National Center for Fathering.

Fathers Influence Their Children On How To Treat Their Partners

Good fathers are also good husbands. Fathers can indirectly influence a child’s behavior and instill in his children a sense of compassion and love with the way he treats his children’s mother. Any father who has a healthy relation with his children’s mother is more likely to participate in moral-boosting activities such as sports and spend more time with his children. Hence the better team the couple make, the better they are at dealing with rebellious children.

My Father Gave Me The Greatest Gift Anyone Could Give Another Person, He Believed In Me

A good team is well equipped at coping with behavioral issues and guiding children towards the right path. Moreover boys who see their fathers treating their mothers with kindness and respect are likely to develop the same habits and will be more aware how to treat the women in their lives, will be less likely to show aggression towards them and will develop less misogynistic thoughts.

Meanwhile girls with responsible fathers see this act as a deciding factor when seeking a partner. They look for qualities such as respectfulness, honesty, integrity and kindness in their potential mates. Positive reinforcement is certainly quite important in affecting a child’s outlook on life while growing up. According to many researches fathers who express anger or reservation towards their partners are more likely to have socially anxious, withdrawn and depressed children.

Impact Of Fathers On A Child’s Education

Fathers are not just responsible for moral support and instilling a sense of responsibility in their kids, they are also responsible for the cognitive development and educational achievement of their children. According to numerous researches, children whose fathers are more involved and interested in their lives have better educational outcomes, higher IQ’s as well as better linguistic and cognitive capacities.

Toddlers with involved fathers are more prepared to take on the challenges of the academic world. They are better equipped with handling rejection and disappointments and can handle the stresses and frustrations associated with schooling more readily than children with less involved fathers.

The significance of a father’s influence is not just limited to a child’s early development, it extends to a child’s adolescent years and even adulthood. Several studies have confirmed that a highly motivated and supportive style of fathering is linked with development of strong communication and verbal skills, higher intellectual thinking and better academic performance in adolescents. A 2001 US Department of Education study found that highly participative biological fathers had children who were 43% more likely than other children to earn A grades and 33% less likely than other children to repeat a grade.

Spending Time With Children Makes Them Social

Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections with peers. These children also are less likely to get in trouble at home, school, or in the neighborhood.

Additionally, infants who receive a lot of attention from their fathers are more confident, secure in their own skin and comfortable in new environments. Infants catch on to their father’s habits early on since fathers spend more time in playful activities with them as compared to mothers.  Activities such as playful aggression stimulate infants and are good for cognitive, emotional and behavioral development.

A number of studies have suggested that such infants grow up to be more popular and get along well with other kids in school. One study of school-aged children found that children with strong connections with their fathers were less probable to experience depression, exhibit disruptive behavior, or to lie and were more likely to engage in pro-social behavior. The same study showed that girls with actively engaged fathers had a strong sense of self-esteem and pride, while boys exhibited fewer behavioral problems and episodes of aggression. Furthermore, many other studies have found that children who share the house with their fathers are more likely to express positive feelings, good physical and mental health, perform better academically and less likely to engage in violent behavior, drugs and crime.

Overall, fathers are responsible for taking care of their children with their neglect often leading to children becoming depressed, disconnected, dejected and may also end up increasing the likelihood of  their offspring resorting to a life of violence, drugs and crimes.

Since fathers shoulder so much responsibility that potentially affects the way your lives shape up to be and are a deciding factor in the way you emerge as responsible adults of community, its our responsibility to reciprocate their love and tell them how to take better care of themselves.

How Stress Affects Men

We all know how hard our fathers work to provide for and educate us so that we can chase our dreams in hope of a better life. This hard work doesn’t come easy because more often than not life’s unpredictability and calamities can take a toll on their health.

Stress plays a major role in affecting your dad’s health. There is no denying that stress affects both men and women, but according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, stress affects both sexes differently.

To verify the effects of stress on men, researchers, from Duke University Medical Center, gathered 254 men and 56 women for a study. The participants were asked to perform three tasks to increase mental stress levels: a mental math test, a mirror tracing test, and an anger recall test. At each step in the process, the scientists measured the participants’ heart activity and took blood samples.

  • The results showed that men had higher elevated levels of blood heart and pressure compared to women, making them susceptible to higher blood clots, more frequent signs of cardiac ischemia and higher number of heart attacks.

Does Psychotherapy work?

According to a research paper on stress, there are many scientific ways to combat stress. Psychotherapy is a good way to reduce stress. Talking to someone about your problems is an ideal approach and talking to someone who is professionally equipped at dealing with such issues is an even greater advantage.

Psychotherapy is more effective if a person’s sleep cycles are in check so don’t skip out on sleep. Patients dealing with chronic, life-threatening diseases find it difficult to cope with stress when even the most fundamental and comprehensive techniques can become overwhelming. In this kind of situation, researchers advise to pinpoint your triggers to help eliminate the unhealthy side effects of stress, by identifying the stress’s source. That’s why, as the first part of psychotherapy, you should identify different areas of your life from which stress can be reduced.

Psychosocial interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM), also have a positive effect on the quality of life of patients with chronic disease. Such interventions decrease perceived stress and negative moods such as depression and anxiety, improve social support, facilitate problem-focused coping and reduce negative thoughts.  Psychosocial interventions further decrease the need for relying on drugs and medications and even slow down disease progression. These interventions have been scientifically proven to decrease the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s fight or flight response, and reduce cortisol levels (a steroid hormone released in the body as a stress response).

Gifting  Your Father A Diary For Self-Monitoring

Studies led by James W. Pennebaker, Ph.D. of the University of Texas, Austin, show that when people write about significant or traumatic events, their health and other coping mechanisms for stress improve. Gifting your dad a diary this Father’s Day isn’t such a bad idea after all, is it?

Taking Care Of Fathers In Their Old Age

Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s severely disable a person’s ability to communicate and perform simple day-to-day tasks. Both of these diseases are neurodegenerative diseases, a disease that results in rapid death of nerve cells and mostly affect elder patients.  At an older age the patient’s coping mechanism is weak, so their care becomes the responsibility of the children. This brings about a role-reversal since throughout their lives, fathers have taken care of their children, so in these situations the responsibility of being a caretaker falls into the hands of children.

A 2014 study published in The Gerontologist Oxford Journal closely looked at five social experiment studies and found reduced mortality and extended longevity for caregivers as a whole compared to non-caregiving participants. Most caregivers also reported benefits from caregiving, while many reported little or no caregiving-related strain.

  • Caring for elders is never easy and tough decisions need to be made. The best thing to do is to make decisions that completely respect their desires.
  • Learning about these desires often requires open discussions about choices to be made. The sooner those conversations happen, the more prepared the entire family will be.

Fathers can be quite stern, especially in their old age. They feel as though their independence has been taken away from them and in most cases pride takes the better of them. Researchers suggest that proper rules and regulations need to be set in place and personal space needs to be respected. However, it needs to be  enforced that, ultimately you have to make tough choices and live with them.

Safeguarding Prostate Health

According to the latest facts and figures from the American Cancer Society, except for skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. It is estimated that in 2016, approximately 180,890 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. About 92% of prostate cancers are found when the disease is confined to the prostate and nearby organs, referred to as the local or regional stage.

As per the statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), out of every hundred men over the age of 60, six would have developed prostate cancer by the time they hit 70. It’s no surprise then that prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States.

These stats may seem grim but you don’t need to worry as there are plenty of ways to stave off prostate cancer and ultimately improve overall health of the man that’s worked hard to fulfill all our wishes. Studies show that a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids helps slow the growth of prostate cancer cells, which could be crucial as it is easier to treat prostate cancer if its spread has been contained.  Omega-3 fatty acids are abundantly found in fish and other sources including nuts and certain plant seeds.

Coming round to the potential benefits of green tea, not only does drinking green tea speed up metabolism and help burn off fats more quickly, it contains catechins that prevent cancer cell growth. A study found that men who drank as little as 500 milligrams of a green and black tea blend with their food showed improved urine flow, decreased inflammation, and overall improved prostate health in as little as six weeks.

Keep in mind that green tea alone is ineffective if your dad continues bad habits in his old age. Reducing the number of cigarettes smoked, eating vegetables and forming an exercise regime are no-brainers. Not only do they reduce the risk of prostate cancers, these activities also fight off other diseases such as obesity, strokes, myocardial infarctions and help instill an active lifestyle.

So This Father’s Day Take Your Fathers To A Nice Restaurant And Don’t Forget To Order Fish And Chips With A Side Of Green Tea


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