If fathers didn’t exist, a holiday in June isn’t the only thing we’d be missing out on. Kids would be growing up without the structure and, yes, nurturing that fathers are uniquely suited to give.
A Father’s Role Today
He dominated America’s iconic nuclear family for years. The bread-winning dad who spent evenings after work glued to the TV or his newspaper while mom tucked the kids into bed.
Flash forward five or so decades and dads all over the United States are doing more for their families than driving the van during summer vacations and grilling hot dogs on Fourth of July. They’re knee-deep into everyday family duties: prepping meals, folding laundry, shuffling kids between after-school activities, and even taking paternity leave from their jobs to care for newborns.
What’s more, dads are breaking out of traditional roles: many are divorced, some never married, and others are raising children with their gay partners.
This Father’s Day, we’re exploring the shift in fatherhood and all the good things it’s brought.
But Can They Nurture?
Dads might be doing more to help raise the kids, but is nurturing the parent-child relationship in their DNA?
Absolutely it is, says numerous studies over the past two decades. These studies show kids performing better in school and adapting well in society because a positive male role model has influenced them. That’s true whether he’s a biological father, stepdad, or responsible adult living in the same house.
Men are even capable of forming the attachment with their offspring so crucial during infancy and early childhood. Research findings reported in a June 2016 article in ”Pediatrics” found fathers to be as capable as mothers of showing emotions when interacting with babies and young children.
Sure, dads differ from moms when it comes to parenting style. Moms tend to hold hands and dads want to get at solutions.
Lauren Muriello, founder of Well Being Therapy Center encourages fathers to show their more direct parenting style and to join her as she counsels their kids and teens. ”It’s usually the moms who bring the child in for therapy,” Muriello told us, ”but too often we don’t see therapy shifting in the right direction until dad gets involved.” More important than solutions is dad’s concern, Muriello said: ”When a father talks openly about his child’s problems, that child benefits not only from dad’s advice but from knowing that dad cares.”