If you are a father – you should know that you are important. And if you are a child – you should know that your father is important to you.
Gradually the relationships in family structure are changing, and now also science starts to show results from this, and what it could mean to a child, and to the future of that child, and therefore also indirectly the worlds best. The traditional role of the mother being the caregiver, and the father being they playgiver are changing. In some countries the early years of parenting are getting closer to a “split situation” and that is a very important prerequisite for how the whole life is going to be – relationship wise between the child and parents, and the family structure as a whole.
What does science say?
Hundreds of studies have been conducted over the years, to study the dynamics of families, their well-being and how the relationship of the family as a whole affects children in their youth and when they grow up. For some time – it has been thought that fathers may not play a significant role on how children become, however research now shows that this is far from the truth.
Having a father who is caring for the child in a sensitive way, supporting the child with more than “play” has now been proven to help these children and future grown ups to have higher levels of social competence and better peer relationships. These children have also shown that they tend to be able to regulate their emotions better than children who haven’t had that quality relationship with the father. The benefits of having a loving and nurturing father keep stacking up as father involvement has been also proven to help develop empathy in children.
Based on a 26-year-long study, researchers found that children who spend regular time alone with their father became more passionate adults. Not only that, but children with a strong relationship with their fathers were half as likely to show various signs of depression. Since the mother and the father, in general, have different ways of speaking, and when the father speaks frequently to the child and helps them with tools to “move forward” in development, the children will perform better in school and also have more advanced language skills.
The role of the society
When society doesn’t give the right chance for what we have written above, the risk is that the child doesn’t get the right support from both parents. We in TREEM, being based in Sweden, can of course relate to the system we “see and live” here. There is a chance for both maternal leave and paternal leave here, and a few other countries as well. When the father can take parental leave and is able to devote time to care and nourish the child(ren), that also has the positive consequence that both parents feel like co-parents to a higher extent, which will have a positive effect on the whole journey for the child’s upbringing. And most probably will also have a great effect on the father – feeling closer and important in the child’s life in a different way.
A father might have felt important because he had the role of bringing home “food to the table”, but with the improving parenthood, he can also bring “love and affection”. Families become stronger and more united when the father figure is supported. This means that families that support the development of the fathers’ skills, grow stronger as a family. This is societies’ roles in helping fathers grow in order to give children a healthier upbringing. As an analysis of over 100 studies on parent-child relationships, it was found that having a loving and nurturing father was as important for a child’s happiness, well-being, and social and academic success, as having a loving and nurturing mother.
What do we in TREEM make out of this
We are no professors in psychology, but we see an important connection between the world’s best future, and a strong and caring father. To love, and to show love, can strengthen and empower, which can play a role in the future for our planet. The stronger and more self confident a person is, the higher the likelihood that one follows the heart, and when following the voice of the heart, that person will feel better. When a person feels better, that person acts better. When a person acts better, the people around will be happier. When people are happier and act well, we have a better world.
Father – you are important to us.