Dads Matter

From the Wall Street Journal via HotAir

As an estimated 70.1 million fathers prepare to celebrate Father’s Day in the U.S., recent research shows that their distinct style of parenting is particularly worth recognition: The way dads tend to interact has long-term benefits for kids, independent of those linked to good mothering.

Beyond rough-and-tumble play, men tend to challenge crying or whining children to use words to express themselves. Men are more likely to startle their offspring, making faces or sneaking up on them to play. Even the way parents hold babies tends to differ, with men cradling infants under their arm in a “football hold” and moms using the “Madonna position” seen in Renaissance artwork—tucked under their chins face-to-face, says Kyle Pruett, co-author of “Partnership Parenting” and a clinical professor of child psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. …

The benefits of involved fathering are known: improved cognitive skills, fewer behavioral problems among school-age children, less delinquency among teenage boys and fewer psychological problems in young women, based on an analysis of 16 long-term studies of father involvement, published in 2008 in the scholarly journal Acta Paediatrica.

The website FamilyFacts.org fleshes these ideas out still further:

  • Among adolescent boys, those who receive more parenting from their fathers are less likely to exhibit anti-social and delinquent behaviors.
  • Among adolescent girls, those who have a strong relationship with their fathers are less likely to report experiencing depression.
  • Adolescent males who report a close relationship with their fathers are more likely to anticipate having a stable marriage in the future.
  • Adolescent girls who have a close relationship with their fathers are more likely to delay sexual activity.

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