Involved dads matter…the data
The Indiana Youth Institute reports the impact of a father’s participation in his child/family life. Having an involved father meant one who reads to his child, goes on outings with him/her, takes interest in understanding their interests, and takes an equal role in parenting. This type of involvement for a dad appears to support the following outcomes:
Their children form better relationships, have less psychological distress, maintain healthier self esteem, exhibit empathy and positive social behavior, are likely to avoid high risk behaviors (such as drugs, truancy and criminal activity).
They found the following statistics too; 85% of youth in prison come from homes without involved fathers, as do 75% of high school dropouts and 63% of teen suicides.
You may say your child’s life dependence on your presents and participation!
Two important points to make from my anecdotal experience with my work at the Fathers’ Forum Programs.
1. It is not just the father being “around” that is important but one who connects (attaches) with his child. This is a form of empathy or “emotional attunement.” For what dads can do during the First Twelve Months of Fatherhood see this section of Fathers’ Forum Online.
2. Having an emotionally engaged relationship with a spouse or partner.
3. Single parents whether just a mom or just a dad can raise healthy, emotionally well balanced and integrated children. They must be well balanced themselves emotionally and be able to recruit other adults (friends and family) that can contribute to their child’s life experiences. “It takes a village to raise a child!”
If you are in a fathers group or lead one you may consider discussing this data with the dads!