Father’s Day Food for thought – Five things pediatricians want you to know

Pediatrics magazine has some food for thought for dads on this Father’s Day to help them utilize their full potential. The presence of fathers in their kids’ lives is not just for backing their mums, but they happen to impact the lives of the former in a big way.

An interesting study in the journal Development and Psychopathology involved a pair of sisters whose father had differing levels of interaction with the two. This study established that girls whose fathers spent quality time with them had lower chances of teen pregnancy and other sexual experiences.

After reviewing multiple studies it was established that children of fathers who spent ample amount of time with their growing kids were likely to be free from psychological disorders.

It has been found that stereotypical roles are changing when it comes to parenting. Fathers are spending more time with their children and mothers are spending more time at the workplace. Raymond Levy, a clinical psychologist and executive director of the Fatherhood Project at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston agrees. “The role of fathers, and fatherhood, is in the process of changing,” said Raymond.

Here are five things that dads can work on to leave a lasting impact on the lives of their children

Be a role model for their children

Whether you are setting an example in front of your kids by lighting a cigarette or by buckling your seat belt while driving, your children look up to you. They will definitely get influenced by your actions and are likely to imitate when they grow up.

For the children to look up to their dads as supportive, the latter ought to play with the former and talk to them.

“The old expectation that men were inadequate mothers, and that they had to do everything just like mothers did with young children, was unfair,” Yogman said.

Talk to their kids

Fathers need not be inadequate mothers. They can talk to their kids to help them develop language skills that help them later in their lives. While it is everyone’s guess that mothers tend to speak more to their children than their fathers and the same has been documented as well.

As per a study published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology in 2006, the vocabulary used by fathers had a profound impact on the language skills of the children later on in their lives.

Get vaccinated

Yes, get vaccinated! We have stressed in our earlier article about the importance for mothers to get vaccinated to protect their unborn kids. The same applies to fathers as well.

Whooping cough or pertussis can get transferred to the children from their parents. About 15 percent of cases of whooping cough in infants can be attributed to their fathers.

Get screened for depression

The child can suffer if either of the two parents is suffering depression. Fathers battling with postpartum depression can pose a big risk for their children.

In addition, struggling to strike a balance between work and life can take a serious toll on their relationship with their children. Fathers can help easing the situation by getting screened for depression.

Playing with their kids

Yes, fathers playing games, whether outdoor or indoor, helps in bringing up the children. Outdoor sports encourage children to explore the world, teach them boundaries and become more independent later on.

“Watch kids in a playground, where a toddler is climbing to the top of the monkey bars,” Yogman said. “Mothers are biting their fingernails worried they’re going to fall, and fathers are saying, ‘You can do it, you can do it!’”

Playing outdoor sports also boosts oxytocin, the love hormone, in fathers that helps in bonding with their kids.

Original article appeared here: http://www.xosam.com/fathers-day-food-for-thought-five-things-pediatricians-want-you-to-know/

 

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