Celebrating Fathers Everywhere
This month we celebrate Father’s Day and the very important role dads play in raising happy, successful and well-adjusted children. Today’s men are more involved than ever – in parenting and family life – and it is exciting to see attitudes towards fatherhood and parental roles move away from gender stereotypes. High five to all the amazing fathers, grandfathers, step-fathers, and father-figures out there!
Kids are the big winners when dads are actively involved. In fact, studies show that children whose fathers, or father figures, are positively involved on a daily basis, have better self-esteem, social development and chances of academic success. “I’m glad to know my involvement is a good thing,” writes Paul Raeburn, author of Do Fathers Matter. “But that’s not why I spend time with my kids. I do it because I like it.”
What does it mean to be actively involved? According to Dr. Eirini Flouri, Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University College London, “An involved father is one who reads to his child, takes outings with his child, is interested in the child’s education and takes an equal role in managing his child.” Here are five ways some amazing fathers we know are involved in raising their families:
- Being a team player. Parenting is a shared responsibility and there is no such thing as “mom” duties. Whether it’s changing diapers, making lunches or driving kids to extracurricular activities, dads are involved. Sharing everyday duties also means more time to do things as a family.
- Reading to their children daily. Reading prepares children for a lifetime of learning and creates a special one-on-one bond. One father we know still shares his love of books and reading with his son even though they live in different time zones.
- Preparing and eating meals together. Being involved in planning and preparing meals with kids teaches children about health, nutrition, and provides them with skills to be more independent. Plus, some of best conversations happen in the kitchen.
- Being a patient listener by letting children share their thoughts without jumping in builds trust and keeps the lines of communication open. Picking up those non-verbal cues and responding in a sensitive way, helps children feel understood and heard. The dads we know said the surprise pay-off of being a good listener is…being listened to!
- Role modeling. Dads know their kids are watching – learning by seeing — how to behave and react in a variety of situations, how to care for the people in their life and how to care for themselves. Basically, conscientiously being an example of the person we all want kids to be.
This Father’s Day take the time to recognize and celebrate your father, grandfather, uncle, or whoever fills that paternal role in your life. If you are a dad, take a moment to reflect on the huge impact you have on your child’s life and know you are appreciated, every day. Happy Father’s Day!
You can read our Mother’s Day message to moms here.