Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mr.Mom: The 21st Century Pop

I just want you to ask yourself one thing, if you were me, wouldn't you do the same for your children?
Clack Griswold

Dads, they really are a remarkable species. Father's Day reminds us of the many hats they wear and roles they play. When we think about the past we see how society is changing it's view regarding the father figure.

There has been a pretty progressive shift in the dad responsibilities in the recent years.  Aside from bringing home the bacon, they are now going to the grocery store to buy the bacon after they have carpool and catch the next child's extra curricular activity, then find themselves frying it up in a pan.

According to a recent survey, 75% of dads say they are more involved with their kid(s) then their fathers were. Dr. Charles Sophy, a child psychiatrist explains we need to raise the awareness of just how important fathers are in their child's life to lower substance abuses, depression and other health issues. 

Let's take a look at what dads are doing to make a difference in their kid's lives.

  • The Living Years: Dads today are not necessarily looking back, but looking ahead. Many are involved and want to have a positive presence with their children. They read to their kids, bathe them, take them school, help them sort through their problems, sometimes just hug them and don't say anything at all. Dads today don't worry about what their own fathers did or didn't do. They don't dwell on the lack of time maybe their fathers had in their lives. They are creating their own way of parenting and they are doing it right. Dr Valerie King has conducted extensive research on the significant impact fathers have on their child's live and she said it all comes down to: quality. Making the most out of the time they have together is key.

  • My Father's Eyes: Males use seven times more gray matter of their brains than females. What does this color have to do with anything? The gray matter is what creates a "tunnel vision" effect when processing information and becoming deeply involved in a task. Because of this, dads have the ability  focus completely on their child, rather than switching from task to task.

  • Mr. Mom: There are double the amount of dads that stay at home than in the 1970s. Roughly 550,000 fathers across the US are stay home caregivers according to a 2013 study by the Pew Research Center. They average about 18 hours of house work and 11 hours a week caring for their school aged child(ren), plus the added hours required to complete errands, after school activities when managing the household.

  • Just The Two Of Us: We know that children with involved fathers handle stress better and have higher success in school. This positive influence doesn't stop there: increased verbal skills, intellectual functioning and broader cognitive capacities are all a result of involved fathers. Children with dads who take an interest in their schooling are 43% more likely to earn As and 33% less likely to repeat a grade.

  • No Mom Jeans: The bottom line is, kids tend to think their dads are more fun and cool! The article, "In Praise of the Fun Dad", points out that there are definite differences in parenting styles of moms and dads.  Dads tend to be more playful and are frequently a better predictor in the child's overall happiness. 

Obviously moms are incredibly important, too. But, we need to continue loving on our awesome daddios out there and remind them how much they are needed 
(and not just to bring home the bacon).

It's the Dad's Life!

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