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The importance of a ‘father’ in a child’s life

Our social structure has little or no space for a father in a child’s life and upbringing. He is always supposed to be out of the house to earn the ‘bread’ for his family and therefore child-rearing came within the domain of the mother.

In Indian society we have placed motherhood on a pedestal, but where does that leave fathers? Today when new-age fathers are consciously involved in child upbringing, our society has changed and changed for the better. We should accept that fathers have a parenting style that is significantly different from that of a mother and that difference is important for healthy child development. On Father’s Day today here’s a look at how important a father’s role is in a child’s life.

A role in a child’s mental development

Studies show that if a child is lucky to have an involved father then that child tends to have higher IQ than those who do not. The earlier a father is involved the earlier the mental development beings in a child. It has also been noticed that supportive, playful, communicative fathers tend to have kids who have better linguistic skills and cognitive capabilities. Children of involved fathers tend to be less stressed by the demands of school and can better focus on tasks.

Fathers show their love differently

You will notice that dads will play rough with their kids, he will tumble, punch, throw a kid high while playing. This encourages risk-taking in kids. But fathers also tend to stress on rules, justice, fairness, and duty in discipline. In the process they teach their child the objectivity and consequences of right and wrong. Dads also introduce kids to a wider variety of methods of dealing with life by providing a broader diversity of social experiences.

They have an influence on health and happiness

Loving fathers will impart to their kids an enhanced capacity to play, provide more enjoyment on vacations, they will teach their kids to use humour as a healthy coping mechanism, kids with involved fathers will have better adjustment to, and contentment with, life after retirement and fewer anxiety and fewer physical and mental symptoms under stress in young adulthood.

Fathers are the first teachers to the world of men

Be it a son or a daughter dads give kids their first insight into the world of men. Fathers prepare children for the challenges of life and demonstrate by example the meaning of respect between both the sexes. We do notice that men change when they become fathers; he is substantially less likely to mistreat his wife or kids. Well he is setting an example to be followed. That is why it is said that if we look at how a man treats his wife, it will be the same benchmark for his son as to how he will treat the women in his life or how a daughter will see men in her life.

Mothers versus fathers

Dads will always encourage competition, which incites independence. Mothers will promote fairness, which creates a sense of security. Fathers will give emphasis to conceptual communication, which helps children to expand their vocabulary and intellectual capacities. While mothers will give importance to sympathy, care, and help, which will teach kids the importance of relationships. Fathers look outwards; they tend to see their child in relation to the rest of the world. Mothers tend to see inwards, they will see the rest of the world in relation to their child. So, overall we can say that neither style of parenting is complete in itself. Both have to be taken together to provide balance for the next generation so that they grow up with a healthy, well-rounded approach to life.

Dads do leave a big impact in the world of a child. We cannot and should not underestimate their influence on the lives of their kids.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads out there!

(The views expressed are the writer’s own)

Smita Singh is a freelance writer who has over 17 years of experience in the field of print media, publishing, and education. Having worked with newspapers like The Times of India (as freelancer), National Mail, DainikBhaskar and DB Post, she has also worked with Rupa& Co, a book publishing house and edited over 30 books in all genres.

She has worked with magazines like Discover India and websites called HolidayIQ and Hikezee (now Go Road Trip). She has also written for Swagat (former in-flight magazine of Air India), Gatirang (magazine of MarutiUdyog), India Perspectives (magazine for Ministry of External Affairs) and Haute Wheels (magazine of Honda).

After turning freelance writer she wrote on art and architecture for India Art n Design. She also worked for Princeton Review as a full-time Admissions Editor and then IDP Education Private Limited as an Application Support Consultant. Smita has her own website called bookaholicanonymous.com which supports her love for books and reading!

You can reach her at: [email protected]

(Lead collage with images from the net)

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