As a mom, do you give your husband the encouragement and latitude to parent in the way he sees fit, or do you make him feel like a loser because he doesn’t do it how you do it? A man’s instincts are going to cause him to approach parenting differently—and that’s a good thing.
It may be natural for moms to rush to meet every need their kids have. We’re nurturers by nature, after all. But the role of father in child development is so important that sometimes we need to step back and let him take control. Take a look at these strengths dads bring to parenting.
1. Dads play differently.
Dads are more likely to startle children and get them excited. They also like to roughhouse more than moms. Both of these types of play are beneficial in building a child’s self-confidence and willingness to take risks, according to research conducted by Harvard University.
2. Dads communicate differently.
Harvard studies show that dads are less indulgent to nonverbal cues such as crying and whining. Fathers tend to challenge young children to use words more to express themselves, increasing the cognitive abilities of children as young as two.
3. Dads challenge kids.
There are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, moms respond to stress in their children by trying to relieve the stress while dads may more naturally respond by encouraging their kids to overcome the problem or rise to the occasion. Both are important facets of building confident, capable kids.
4. Dads develop secure daughters.
Girls who have strong relationships with their fathers are less likely to become sexually active as teens than girls whose dads are emotionally distant. Girls gain confidence from the dad-daughter relationship that leaves them less hungry for the attention of boys and less vulnerable. (Journal of Marriage and Family, 1994) Here are 10 things loving fathers do for their children.
5. Dads appreciate mom’s trust.
The respect and trust you show for your husband when you turn over the parenting reigns can improve your marriage as well—and can model an important trait for your children’s future relationships. Couples who cooperate together learn to value one another as spouses and parents and have a stronger relationship overall.
In what ways does your husband, or the father of your kids, parent well?