The Importance of Male Involvement in Childhood Development!
Jun 16 , 2022
As Father Day approaches, we take a moment to remind ourselves and fathers about their positive contribution to the development of their children.
From day one, fathers or any male caregiver treat the baby differently than their moms, no matter their experience.
Fact: Studies have shown that babies without their father in their lives start to look for their "dad" as soon as they realize that any child has a mother and a father. When they find in their environment a male presence that, even though they will not call him "dad," will make them their dad.
The contribution of male presence in the lives of babies and young children!
Fathers have the role of the protector, the provider, and the disciplinarian in the child's life. They tend to protect their kids from external dangers while preparing them to cope with different types of risks (accidents, bullies, strangers, falls, and so on). While today men aren't the sole providers, it is still essential for fathers to provide for their families. It is part of his sense of identity and manhood. Fathers also teach their children how to deal with stress and respond to different situations accordingly and appropriately.
It has been demonstrated that fathers handle little children differently than mothers, not better or worse, just DIFFERENTLY.
It has also been demonstrated that fathers use their bodies more when they interact with their children, like tickling, wrestling, and outdoor sports. The paternal instinct also prepares children for adult life, like using words instead of babbling (as mothers do), playing a game and winning it, and offering a lesson on how to be a good loser (when the mother mostly lets the child win). Children need both parents' presence in their life as much as possible since the mother focuses on the present, the father focuses on the future, and a child can learn balance from their parents.
Fact: The more involved and present the male presence is in the first days of life, the weight gain is more rapid.
Also, the father's presence isn't as regular as their mother's. They soon learn separation, goings, and non-maternal loving from their fathers. That is why kids in their second year of life usually turn to their fathers to learn more about autonomy and differentiating from their mothers as primary caregivers.
The close relationship with a male adult (father, grandfather, uncle) has a long-lasting effect on every child's life. It contributes meaningfully by offering tactile and sensory interaction, encouraging them to solve physical and intellectual challenges.
Paternal instincts are different from maternal instincts, and kids can see that from the early stages of childhood. Father or any male presence tends to become more of a companion and an ideal playmate for the child. He is the male role model and offers excellent information and example of what a man should be and do. They are seen as protectors, offering unique ideas, viewpoints, and more.
- Fathers instill a sense of well-being and security.
- Fathers will influence their children's relationships with others (from friends to spouses).
- Fathers become models for girls as to what a relationship with a man should look like.
- Fathers become a model for their boys as to what men should act like.
But what do fathers need?
They need to be involved, they need to be provided with the right opportunities to engage in their role in the household, and last but not least, they need encouragement, especially in their child's early development.
Modern fathers want to be more involved, and that's great. Even society expects more of them.