Dads don’t often get the credit they deserve. Especially given the importance of dad in a child’s life. Their role tends to be shadowed by the old-fashioned mentality that children are a mother’s responsibility. Dads are often viewed as a second parent, a second-rate mom and even a “babysitter”. Ouch!
But truth be told, dads are pretty rad. And so is the role an active father plays in his child’s life.
As awesome as us moms are, we can’t provide everything a child needs to head out into the world with a well-rounded perspective.
Men and women are so very different in their thought process, in their communication style, in well… most everything. Which would go to say that men and women approach parenting differently as well. And while dad’s take on parenting may look absurd or more laid back to us “expert” moms, it is exactly what every kid needs.
Dads love their kids more dangerously.
Moms are amazing at promoting equity, showing sympathy, cuddling, caring, building relationships… all the emotional stuff that when a child is upset, comforts them, making them feel safe and protected.
Dads play rougher. They encourage risk-taking. They encourage competition. They prompt independence.
Dads also introduce kids to a broader variety of social experiences and problem solving methods. Basically, they make kids more resilient to stress and difficult situations.
Kids with involved dads have less fear, less guilt, are better able to self-direct, and have less psychological distress. Why? Because dads tend to comfort their kids by boosting their self-esteem through exploration and problem solving.
Rock on, dads!
Dads help kids communicate.
Ladies, don’t turn up your nose at this one. While the men folk may not be touchy-feely communicators like the dream boats in the movies, they are teaching our kids valuable communication skills.
Us moms, we speak to our kids in layman’s terms. We break down words and concepts into smaller, more understandable language for our kiddos to comprehend.
Dads don’t do that. They just talk to kids like they’d talk to another adult.
While the mom method helps babies learn to talk and connect with mom, the dad version of conceptual communication is more complex. It requires kids to ask for clarification and therefore expands their vocabulary and intellectual capacity.
In other words, dad talk is the kind of conversation kids will hear outside of the family and thus will help them to communicate with others better.
Dad is the man boys imitate.
Dad is the first standard of masculinity in a child’s life and will also be the one with the longest-lasting impact. As children, we learn how to function in the world around us by mimicking the behaviors of those around us. Boys model themselves after their dad’s character, especially as they seek their father’s approval.
Probably the most tell aspect of how a son imitates his father is seen in the child’s relationships with others. If Dad’s character demonstrates respect between the sexes, and he is kind, caring, and fair, the child will be bent towards developing the same character traits.
Dad is the model of relationships for his daughter.
Daddy’s little girl, when she reaches dating age, will often look for the same qualities in men as the ones she has experienced or become familiar with in her childhood relationship with her father. Girls model their relationships with others based on their dad’s character.
Good dads make moms better.
Involved dads reduce mom’s stress. Yes, it may make us crazy that you don’t “do it right” sometimes. And by right, I mean the way we’d parent. But having dad active in his child’s life positively impacts mom’s mental health.
When dad shares in parenting responsibilities, helps care for the kiddos, and assists with domestic duties, it takes the pressure off of mom having to do it all herself. It is a statement of love, respect, and support. And it leaves moms feeling confident in herself and also liking hubby a more too!
So dads even if you aren’t a man of many words, remember that you have little eyes watching. And you, Dad, are a big BIG deal to the little person behind those eyes. No one can take your place. No one will leave the impact in your child’s life that you can.
Whether the “dad” in your child’s life is a biological father, a dad through adoption, a step-parent, or a friend being a positive manly role model, their presence is irreplaceable in your child’s development.
What you say matters. What you do matters. Who you are matters.
The mom approach and dad’s style of parenting were designed to compliment each other in raising well-rounded, confident, happy children. And although us moms may think we’re right (all the time), we would be wrong not to give you due credit for being an amazing influence in our children’s lives.