Do Dads Matter

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There is a wealth of information on mothers and their contribution to a child’s life but when it comes to a Dad’s place in the child-rearing equation the relevant information is an empty shelf.  What data is available suggests that a father who is involved emotionally and phsically with his children, especially with his sons, can make a significant difference in the future of that child. As a teenager he has improved scholastic performance and has a less likely chance of delinquency due to a son having an involved dad in his life. The few studies available indicate that fathers do matter when it comes to raising children.

It is especially interesting to note that boys whose father’s were missing for reasons of divorce or simply abandonment were most often labeled as aggressive boys. Common sense might dictate that having a male component in the child rearing process would create a more aggressive child but the few studies that have followed children over more than a decade indicate that it is the opposite effect. It is apparent that without the leadership of a positive role model boys get very aggressive and often into lots of trouble as men.

Most men that I personally have known who have had father’s involved in their lives agree that the impact was usually of the disciplinary flavor. It was rare for a father to become emotionally involved in their children’s lives especially if a mother was available for that role. And this leaves boys feeling that they get the short end of the stick. They desire and need a father to help them understand what it means to be a man. A close relationship with one’s father is the one point that men agree makes the difference in becoming successful and fulfilled as adults.

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