Parenting with Pruett: Fathering, by Kyle D. Pruett, M.D., advisor to The Goddard School®
One of the principal behavior changes of American parents in the last generation centers on the wish that fathers be more involved day-to-day with their children. My research on the issue of whether or not this is a good thing comes to two firm conclusions: 1) children raised by involved dads are thriving, healthy kids, and 2) fathers do not mother any more than mothers father.
So, what is unique about the way men parent, and does it matter to children?
- Fathers roughhouse with their kids right from the beginning more than mothers. This is interesting to children, they respond to it, and even seek it out. It helps to build physical confidence in boys and girls.
- Fathers allow frustration to build to elevated levels before intervening when their children are mastering something new. It turns out that dads think this helps children learn to handle frustration at manageable levels – preparing them for life’s uneven playing field. They are right.
- Fathers may give their children more leeway in new circumstances while mothers tend to stay physically closer to their children in the park or at the mall. Dads want children to explore. Children tend to like it, and learn independence from it.
- Fathers use more real-world consequences to discipline whereas mothers use more social-relationship consequences. Children who receive both integrate them well, giving them a stronger sense of internal control and self-discipline than children with uninvolved or absent dads.
- Kids with involved dads – dads who have fed, changed diapered, bathed, and comforted (with the support of their spouses) – do better in school, have higher self-confidence, use less violent problem-solving themselves, and have stronger verbal skills.
Children can distinguish the voice of their father from their mother at birth – and their handling styles at six weeks. Any questions? Just ask the kids what they think of fathering.
Kyle D. Pruett, M.D. is an advisor for The Goddard School®. Dr. Pruett is an authority on child development who has been practicing child and family psychiatry for over twenty-five years. He is a clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale University’s Child Study Center.
Keeping Your Child Healthy
Nutrition and exercise are important to your child’s overall health. Proper nutrition and participation in physical activities can prevent many medical problems and ensure your child is growing to his/her full potential.
Encourage your child to eat a variety of foods to help them get the nutrients they need from every food group. By offering your child a variety of foods, they are more likely to try new foods – and to like more foods. Children learn from their parents, so it is no surprise that they are likely to mimic your food choices and physical activities. If they see you enjoying fruits, vegetables, whole grains as well as physical activities, your children are more likely enjoy them as well. Be a good role model for developing good health, physical skills and self-esteem by eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise.
Red, White and Blueberry Smoothie
Celebrate America’s birthday with this yummy, refreshing treat!
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, plus a little more for garnish
2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup milk or water
1 large banana, cut up
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup blueberries, for garnish
Place yogurt, strawberries, milk, banana and sugar into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into tall glasses and top each drink with 1 teaspoon of yogurt and garnish with blueberries.
Yoga with Miss Jenny
Dogs with Dad
First Day of Summer Camp
703 West Nields St.
The Goddard Schools are operated by independent franchisees under a license agreement with Goddard Systems, Inc. Programs and ages may vary. © Goddard Systems, Inc. 2012
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