How does a father play an as important role in a child's life as a woman?
Each parent has a role to play in their child’s life- both of which are equally important and irreplaceable.
Stereotypically, it is assumed that a father’s responsibility solely lies in being the breadwinner. However, studies have shown that affectionate and involved fathers play a huge role in their child’s healthy emotional development.
Right from birth, babies can also bond with their fathers, and in infancy,
It also creates a sense of security and stability in the child to have their father involved. It is also found to be associated with higher self-esteem and fewer behavioural problems. For example, with a healthy amount of involvement from both parents, children are less likely to engage in risky behaviour as they have either parent to turn to, confide in them, and hence receive guidance.
Research has also found that children with involved fathers grow up to be involved parents themselves - observational learning plays a role here.
Also read- https://mpowerminds.com/blog/The-Role-of-a-Father-in-nurturing-a-Child
For young boys and men, their father is often their male role model, and having a father who is involved in their lives, beyond the provisional role, conveys to them the importance of equality in parenting. For young girls, it can also influence the kind of behaviours they are tolerant towards in their relationships (for those in heteronormative relationships). When children grow up with healthy involvement, they associate it with what is normal and hence an example for themselves, in many ways, when they get to that stage in life.
Recent research on the impact of fatherhood on a child’s development has found that fathers encourage their children to explore more, persist through challenges, and be assertive (Pacquetter, 2012).
There have also been multiple studies that showcase the negative effects of a father’s absence on their child’s life and emotional development (specifically their sense of stability and self-esteem). This points to not just the physical absence but the absence of any emotional involvement as well.
With greater awareness about this, new parents are taking heed of it and changing the stereotypical roles society sometimes enforces.
A few ways for fathers to be more involved:
- - Make time to spend with the child to bond. This is important at any age and could be doing activities the child likes to do or trying new, fun activities as well.
- - Have regular conversations with their respective partner about parenting and their respective roles in the child’s life.
- - Make it a point to turn up for events in the child’s life on a regular basis - sports days, open days, performances, birthdays- and for times the child is struggling as well.