Why Sons Need Their Fathers
There are so many benefits to having a father around; according to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, it is scientifically proven that children with involved fathers grow up to have less promiscuous sex, have higher paying jobs, and healthier relationships. They are less likely to become homeless, depend on welfare and are less prone to obesity. They also have been found to have higher IQs than their classmates by age three.
Fathers are Important from the Beginning
Starting at the very beginning, it has always been perceived that once the father’s sperm fertilized the egg his job was done until the baby was here. Essentially that is true, since we know as of now in our medical advancements fathers still cannot actually carry the fetus. But what science is finding now is how the father’s behaviors and health before conception relates to the baby’s health and wellness in later years. For example; in a recent study done by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, they have suggested that fathers who drink right before conception may go on to have sons that abuse alcohol. While another study done by scientists at McGill University in Canada have found that men who have bad dietary health can lead to negative pregnancy outcomes, and a group of researchers in Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Rui-Jin Hospital, and Hubei Polytechnic University School of Medicine all supported this research that men who are stressed before conception can predispose their baby to have high blood sugar.
This obviously doesn’t mean that every child conceived while a dad was stressed out is going to have high blood sugar but just like moms shouldn’t smoke or do drugs while pregnant, dads also are not exempt from taking care of themselves for the betterment of their children.
This probably goes without saying but if the dad is going to be involved in the child’s life at all the earlier he can start the attachment process the better. This includes being an active partner during pregnancy and labor. Another study by The U.S. National Library of Medicine also suggests that if a father cannot be present at the birth the mother and baby should return home to the father as soon as possible to start the attachment process.
I know many dads who think that they don’t really matter until the baby is more aware and has developed their motor skills but a 1991 study by Harvard Medical School showed that a baby attained a 36% higher cognitive score at age 1 if the dad had been present since month 1.
Sons and Fathers
Sons especially need their dads. In Paul Raeburn’s book “Do Fathers Matter?” he describes how scientists observed that U.S. boys whose fathers were off fighting in World War II during their childhoods later had trouble creating relationships with others as they matured. Similar studies cited in the book show that sons who grow up without fathers (or with disengaged fathers) tend to be less popular in preschool.
The research is overwhelming in how much fathers affect their children, and more specifically, sons, mental health development, physical health development, and emotional development. Dads have such a specific role in a child’s life and when he is absent it comes with a cost. While some men find the role of “dad” to be overwhelming some to the point of just walking away from his responsibilities others have gone on to find their own way in fatherhood and what works for them. Here are some quick tips in fostering a great father son relationship.
- Many dads spend their time working on providing financially, investing, sports teams, projects, and plans. It is important that a father can set that all aside to show his son that his best and most important investment is in his son, and/or children.
- Lots of dads can struggle with physical touch with their children especially dads of boys in an attempt to not appear “weird, or creepy” but hugging and even kissing your son is key in letting your son know you love him no matter what.
- A son needs to know that his personal interests are pleasing to his father. Taking the time to get interested in what his son is interested in is a great way to show him that his interests matter.
- Telling his son he is proud of him is a way to make sure he can enter the world with confidence knowing their dad believes in them gives them armor around them. Some boys just need their fathers affirming words; others might need some one-on-one time over breakfast, taking the time to find this out is not time wasted.
Fathers are important, but mothers cannot control what a child’s father does or doesn’t do with his fatherly role. What we can do is gently encourage them to take some of these tips into consideration. If a father isn’t present, then we need to look around at the men in our lives and thoughtfully consider what kind of male role models we have for our sons. There are great men all around us, coaches, teachers, family friends, and extended family members. Having a strong male role model in our son’s lives is vital to the success of them and their future even into future generations.