Friday, June 14, 2013

In Defense of Fathers and Fatherhood:

Happy Father's Day. It shouldn't be controversial at all but a simple Google search found this site which explores the financial, medicinal and even career benefits of being a father.  Pass it on!
Your Personal Health Improves. Research shows that the structure that comes into a man's life because of fatherhood helps him make better choices. Having a family to come home to and be responsible for helps fathers choose a healthier lifestyle. 
Your Activity Level Increases. Getting up at night, playing with the kids, walking at the park – all these kinds of work and play make dad more active and thus feeling better about himself. 
It Reduces Stress Related Ailments. The National Institute of Mental Health found that men who are in healthy family relationships are less likely to have stress-related health problems. Issues like chronic pain, insomnia, stomach problems and fatigue are less problematic for stable fathers than for other male subsets of the population. 
Your Nurturing Side is Enhanced. So often, we see boys and young men being pretty self-focused and self-absorbed. The Minnesota Fatherhood Initiative found that men who succeeded as fathers became less inward-focused and developed a greater ability to nurture and care for others. And not just for their children, but for their spouses, friends and coworkers. 
You Have a Lower Risk for Clinical Depression. Men who live alone have a much higher risk of depression and suicide than married men with children. 
Your Job Satisfaction Improves. This may be a little counter-intuitive, but research shows that committed fathers feel more comfortable in their occupation and feel that they perform well at work more often than men who are not fathers. 
You Will Cope Better With Daily Life. Men who are fathers tend to have better coping skillswith stress in all areas of life, not just at home. 
Your Children Will Learn Better. The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study has found that the children of responsible and involved fathers learned life skills faster and better than children without an involved father in their lives. And a study of children in Barbados born to adolescent mothers found that children with an involved father had much better grades than other children. 
Your Sex Life Will Improve. Again, this may seem a little strange to new fathers, but the research is clear. Committed fathers married to their children's mother have more and better sex than men not in such a family relationship. 
Your Personal Freedom is Enhanced. Research shows that committed fathers are less likely to have encounters with the criminal justice system, fewer hospital admissions, fewer accidental and premature deaths and a decreased risk of substance abuse.
There's more.  Here a a bunch of benefits to the children of having a father in their life:
  • babies as young as three months old can tell the difference between their mother and father. They can tell by the way each speaks to them, holds them, and by their different smells.
  • research has shown that children whose fathers are involved in rearing them score higher on cognitive tests (they seem smarter) than those with relatively uninvolved fathers.
  • improved cognitive abilities are associated with higher educational achievement. In fact, fathers who are involved in their children's schools and academic achievement, regardless of their own educational level, are increasing the chances their child will graduate from high school, perhaps go to vocational school, or even to college.
  • a father's involvement in children's school activities protects at-risk children from failing or dropping out
  • research shows that fathers who are more involved with their children tend to raise children who experience more success in their career. Career success can lead to greater income and greater financial stability.
  • involved fathering is related to lower rates of teen violence, delinquency, and other problems with the law.
  • father involvement is associated with positive child characteristics such as empathy, self-esteem, self-control, psychological well-being, social competence, and life skills.
  • children who grow up in homes with involved fathers are more likely to take an active and positive role in raising their own families. For example, fathers who recall a secure, loving relationship with both parents were more involved in the lives of their infants and more supportive to their wives. It is thought that having an involved father provides a role model for positive parenting, healthy caregiving, and a commitment to the family.

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