Rob carrying John at Disney World, July 2008.
My husband, Rob, is one of the best fathers I’ve ever seen. He’s patient, kind, and always trying to teach our son, John, something that will help him in the future. Rob is a laid back, quiet kind of guy, yet hilarious with his one-line zingers he throws around. Just think of him as King of the Dad Joke. He thinks it’s critical now that John’s driving to watch car shows with him (“look at that engine, I bet it can go from 0 to 88 in a gigawatt”), show him how to do “manly things” (John knows how to mow our lawn, edge AND blow), and impart his pearls of wisdom when our boy child least wants to hear them (one of my favorites…“John, it’s like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer…it feels good when you stop”). 😉 He firmly believes that failure is one of the best tools he can teach him because “boys are all stubborn and we have to figure things out the hard way.”
My father figure growing up was a little more complicated. My dad died when I was 20 years old, but by then, he had firmly put in my mind a picture of a workaholic-great-provider dad that wasn’t very involved in my life. Yet I also remember how important it was to him that his three daughters all did well in school so that we could attend college and never depend on a man financially. He also taught me how to drive…in a sports car (what was he thinking?!?). This may or may not explain why I love fast cars to this day. 😉 In all those years though, I don’t remember him ever driving me to play dates on weekends like our Mom did, cleaning my knee when I’d scraped it, or reading me a story at bedtime.
How times have changed! Last year I happily witnessed a father frustratingly speaking to the manager of a restaurant because he couldn’t change his baby’s diaper in the men’s bathroom. They didn’t have a changing table in it. (Let the Mom happy dancing commence!) Research has shown how important fathers are in a child’s emotional development. But just HOW important?
Dads are JUST AS IMPORTANT to their child as Moms are
A bold statement, to be sure. What is a dad today? Some things are different obviously. Dads are more involved in child rearing than any other time in history. “They also are still the most important male person in their child’s life. Fathers are far more than just “second adults” in the home. Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring. They have a parenting style that is significantly different from that of a mother and that difference is important in healthy child development.” Source #1 In 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. Wow!
Fathers Set the Bar for Relationships with Others
Dads, you have way more power than you realize in your child’s life! Our fathers not only influence who we are inside, but how we have relationships with people as we grow. The way a father treats his child will influence what he or she looks for in other people. Friends, dating, and spouses will all be chosen based on how the child perceived the meaning of the relationship with his or her father. A father shows his daughter what a good relationship with a man is like. Unlike girls, who model their relationships with others based on their father’s character, boys model themselves after their father’s character. Source #2 (But hey, no pressure.)
How Dads Interact with their Child is CRITICAL
The way that fathers play with their children has an important impact on a child’s emotional and social development. Fathers spend a higher percentage of their one-to-one interactions with infants and preschoolers in stimulating, playful activity than do mothers. From these interactions, children learn how to regulate their feelings and behavior. Children with involved, caring fathers also have better educational outcomes. The influence of a father’s involvement extends into adolescence and young adulthood. Numerous studies find that an active and nurturing style of fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement among adolescents. Source #3 So I guess that means you are pretty darn special, Daddy-o!
I have made many mistakes in my life, but I did EVERYTHING right when I chose Rob to be my future child’s father. From showing up to every important event to imparting his take on life (“John, it’s six of one, half a dozen of another, make a decision and follow through”), being a dad to our only child is something he excels at. Case in point: He pretended to be a chauffeur picking up a client and got in line with the other chauffeurs at the airport when we picked up John after a flight he took alone last year. He held up a sign saying “J. Black.” As a mom I sighed with a smirk and shook my head. John laughed when he saw him and shook his head. Our family wouldn’t be the same without him.
Sunrise Montessori Preschool has two locations in Round Rock. Interested in learning first hand what we can offer your child? Then book a tour on our website at Sunrise-Montessori.com or call us so you can discover why Sunrise Montessori Preschool is where YOUR family belongs!