As usual, one of my questions was, “And what do you two do when you’re not golfing?” (A very clever way to ask what they did for a living…or so I thought.)
Both puffed up and proudly announced that they were Stay-at-Home Dads. Their wives had incredible jobs (and they did, trust me) and they loved taking care of their kids. This encounter came right on the heels of my niece’s husband (so my "nephew") getting six weeks off to help with their newborn––and let me tell you––he was a duck to water when it came to taking care of their little one.
Though I am not always thrilled with some of our societal changes in attitude, THIS one I am. THIS one allows a man to be an intimately involved parent at all ages and not lose any man-cards.
A father’s involvement is so important because research shows that dads influence their sons and daughters in some very critical ways.
In short, here are a few things that sons learn from their dads.
1) How to treat women. The first example of how to treat a woman comes from how his father treats his mother.
2) What his strengths and unique abilities are.
3) What his outlook on life should be: how to handle himself, hard times, money, etc.
4) How to lead his family.
5) His personal identity (his place in the family and the world).
And here are five ways fathers influence their daughters.
1) Their future relationship with men. Girls frequently pick mates who are like their fathers.
2) Confidence. Those who have fathers who “praise, support and provide unconditional love give their daughters the gift of confidence and self-esteem.”
3) Academic excellence. Research shows that girls whose fathers are involved in their education or extra-curricular activities do better in both of those areas.
4) To be adventurous and take risks. Though Dads like to protect, fix, and rescue, good fathers help their daughters realize that they are capable of “doing most anything and empowering them to do so.”
5) Body Image: The first view a girl has of herself comes from her father and his comments regarding her looks and others’ looks. Those men who are respectful about how people look help their own daughters’ self-esteem and body image.
Parenting is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it easy to navigate without mistakes. But let’s take our hats off and give credit where credit is due, to all those wonderful fathers out there protecting, encouraging, and loving their sons and daughters.
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“5 Invaluable Ways Fathers Influence Their Sons.” Powerful mothering.com.
“What Boys Learn from Their Dads.” familyeducation.com
“How Dads Affect Their Daughters into Adulthood.” Institute for Family Studies. 2019
“5 Reasons Dads Are So Important to Their Daughters.” redtri.com