Father-Child Relationship: Importance and Tips to Improve It
A 2018 report published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reads that on a typical day, fathers spend only around 52 minutes with their child (under age 18) as compared to mothers who spend near about two hours on an average.
Mothers are considered to be pillars in demonstrating the importance of relationships, thus developing her child’s emotional well-being. But, a father’s “significantly different parenting style”, as Dr. Popenoe calls it, can help a child learn the well-rounded approach to life.
The emerging consensus suggests that fathers have become more involved parents than they were 50 years ago. Modern dads have come farther than just teaching their toddlers how to walk; they have started showing keen interest in childcare. But, are fathers still doing enough?
Why is a father-child relationship so important?
A 26-year long study by Richard Koestner, et al., found that the major factor behind developing empathy in children is father involvement.
It is beyond the shadow of a doubt that building a healthy and stable relationship with the child, when he is young, is very important. Every child aspires to bond with his father, to feel worthy of receiving his love. It is a general tendency to grow up by imitating one’s parents – the first people we interact with; this is how we learn to function and survive in the world.
Fathers complement mothers and add the true essence to parenting. The patterns a father sets dictates how his child relates to other people and how he looks at the world. By laying down the rules of behavior, fathers discipline their children. A father is the one who creates respect for the sexes in his child. A daughter looks upon her father to model further relationships in her life.
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Affectionate and supportive fathers considerably affect a child’s social as well as cognitive development. An involved father promotes inner growth and strength, inculcates in his child the values of justice and fairness. He teaches his child objectivity and the consequences of right and wrong.
Unlike over-protective mothers, fathers encourage risk-taking and let their child venture out. Thus, the child engenders independence, which better prepares him to face the challenges of life. It is a father’s imprints which makes his son either loving and gentle or strong and valiant.
When fathers provide a feeling of emotional and physical security, children turn out to be more confident and outperform their peers. They also face fewer psychological problems in life.
How can a father improve the relationship with his child?
A father has to spend some quality time with his child, without being insulting or behaving coldly with the child. A child looks for warmth in your care.
Spend time playing with your child, reading stories to him or helping with his homework. Involve him in educational activities, bathe him and have meals together. Attend events that are important in your child’s life. Let them help you carry in the groceries or mow the yard. Make your child feel comfortable with you so that he feels free to talk his heart out.
Just knowing that your dad cares and makes you feel worthy of his time, makes a child happy and confident from within.
“A boy needs a father to show him how to be in the world.”
-Ian Morgan Cron