ABC by Paley – DAD

When it comes to parenting, it can sometimes get the impression that fathers come second. But dad is just as important as mom, and luckily, the image of the father changes for the better over the years. It is largely thanks to the fathers themselves, who actively and committedly share the care of children with their partners.

An active and devoted father plays an important role in the child’s development. Children with sensitive and supportive fathers have a higher level of social competence and better relationships with their peers. They are more successful at school and cognitively develop better. Fathers, like mothers, are a pillar of emotional development and shape how children think about themselves in the future.

Fatherhood begins at conception. Involvement during pregnancy is a predictor of parental involvement after the baby is born. Babies who find solace in their father’s arms and whose needs are adequately addressed by their fathers are more likely to develop a secure bond with him. This type of bond, on the other hand, affects the child’s entire life, incl. on how it will build relationships with other people.

From the Pew Research Center’s report of the year, we learn that fathers now spend three times more time with their children than they did in 1965. However, not only time matters, but also the quality of these contacts. A good relationship between the child and the father is one of the factors that protect against the development of mental disorders in adolescence. Children accompanied by a supportive father are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as casual sex or the use of stimulants.

A father who actively participates in family life and shares responsibilities with the second caregiver reduces the risk of maternal postpartum depression. However, if this one does appear, a committed dad mitigates its negative impact on the child. It is also worth mentioning here that postpartum depression, although the most common among mothers, is a disorder faced by up to 8% of fathers.

By the time children are 12 years old, more than 20% of fathers will experience depression. It is still an overlooked and very important topic, especially considering the still present shame about using psychological and psychiatric help and the high suicide rate in men. This disease affects not only the man but also his child. Children of fathers with untreated depression cope with their emotions worse and the risk of behavioral disorders increases.

Dear fathers, you are important. The time you spend with your children reading, playing, and cuddling together is important. Walking with your baby, helping him fall asleep, teaching him different skills – this is a great opportunity to be together, deepen your bonds and get to know each other.

And if you need support yourself – feel free to reach for it, after all, we are all human and sometimes we need a helping hand.

It is worth taking a look at the website https://sharethecare.pl/

The source of knowledge and inspiration thanks to which this article was created: Martin, A., Ryan, R. M., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2007). The joint influence of mother and father parenting on child cognitive outcomes at age 5, Early Childhood Research Quarterly