Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My Book of the Month: May

According to a recent report by the Department of Health and Human Services, "Fathers play a unique role in fostering the well-being of their children, not only through providership, protection and guidance, but also through the way that they nurture the next generation." But there is a huge catch. "A father's involvement with his children...is powerfully contingent on the mother's attitude" toward him. Research consistently shows that the father-child relationship depends more on the quality of the parents' relationship than does the mother-child relationship.

This same report from the Department of Health and Human Services states: "Girls with active dads demonstrate higher levels of mathematical competence, and boys with more nurturing fathers display higher levels of verbal acumen. It is worth noting, of course, that girls tend to struggle more with math and boys tend to struggle more with language. Having an active, emotionally invested father appears to help children overcome the intellectual weaknesses typically associated with their sex."

Fathers are more likely to foster independent, exploratory behavior on the part of their children, compared to mothers....children raised by engaged fathers are more comfortable exploring the world around them....
A playful, challenging, and nurturing approach to fatherhood is associated with more self-control and pro-social behavior among children throughout the course of their lives....One study of seventh graders found that boys who had close relationships with their fathers were more likely to control their feelings and impulses, to obey rules at school and home, and to make good moral judgments....This same study found that boys with involved fathers had fewer school behavior problems and that girls had more self-esteem....
Boys and girls who are exposed to the nurture of a father, and who see a father being nurturing to their mother and other adults, are much less likely to associate masculinity with predatory sexual behavior and hyper-aggressivenes....Fathers help their children, especially their daughters, develop the self-control and the sense of self-worth that protects them from premature sexual intercourse and teenage pregnancy.

Paul Coughlin, No More Christian Nice Guy