FATHERING EFFECT

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FATHERING EFFECT

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psyche-thumbby Kit Nemenzo Balane

Happy Father’s Day! My salute to all men who courageously take on the responsibility of nurturing their children and being the pillar and stronghold of the family.

It is not easy to be a father. Research shows that there are some short term costs of father involvement in men such as stress, increase work-family conflict, and decreased self-esteem.

However, research also shows that long term, high involvement of fathers has a modest, positive impact on occupational mobility, work success, and societal generativity. In fact, men’s emotional involvement with their children has been found to act as a buffer against work related stresses.

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What else does research say about the benefits of fathering? It shows that men who are involved fathers feel more self-confident and effective as parents, they find parenthood more satisfying, feel more intrinsically important to their child, and feel encouraged to be even more involved.

Involved fathers are also more likely to see their interactions with their children positively, become attentive to their children’s development, better understand and accepting of their children, and enjoy closer, richer father-child relationships.

Fathers who are involved in their children’s lives are more likely to exhibit greater psychosocial maturity, be more satisfied with their lives, feel less psychological distress, and be more able to understand themselves, empathically understand others, and integrate their feelings in an on-going way, research suggests.

Involved fathers report fewer accidental and premature deaths, less than average contact with the law, less substance abuse, fewer hospital  admissions, and a greater sense of well-being overall.

There are also researches which reveal that involved fathers are more likely to participate in the community, do more socializing, serve in civic or community leadership positions, and attend church more often.

Some evidence suggests that involved fathering is correlated with marital stability and is associated with marital satisfaction in midlife.  Involved fathers are more likely to feel happily married ten or twenty years after the birth of their first child, and be more connected to their family.

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Overall, men who are involved fathers during early adulthood usually turn out to be good spouses, workers, and citizens at midlife.

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It such a gift to be a father!  And indeed, I feel I have learned far more precious lessons in less than decade as a father than all my years combined as a single man.

And so to all fathers, let us continue to be deeply involved in our children’s lives. We do not only provide them the gift of our presence, we also nurture ourselves in the process. Hail on.  Email me at kitbalane@boholchild.com.

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