We are fast approaching Father’s Day — June 17th! It is a well-known fact that here in America we are experiencing a dad crisis. According to a recent survey 7 out of 10 participants agreed that the physical absence of fathers in the home is the most significant family or social problem facing America. (FocusFamilyInsight Global Development — Family Research, Glenn Stanton, June 19, 2009).
Research also shows that families without fathers have a significant risk of falling below the poverty line, and that children in such homes are more likely to have educational issues, poor emotional and physical health, engage in criminal behaviour, and suffer child abuse more so than their peers in traditional family units. So just what is it that an involved father does that is so important? The National Center for Fathering gives us a glimpse from a study they did back in 2009.
1. Fathers Teach Empathy—A 26-year study published by the American Psychological Association found that children with actively involved fathers in their lives are more likely to be sensitive to the needs of others in adulthood compared to those who do not have involved fathers.
2. Fathers Give Confidence—Fathers are more likely to challenge their children to try difficult things by taking safe and measured risks. Fathers’ more physical and active play style and slower response to help their children through frustrating situations creates greater problem-solving capacity and confidence in both boys and girls.
3. Fathers Increase Vocabulary—Children who spend extended time with their dads during their childhoods are more likely to have larger and more complex vocabularies. A mother, being more attentive to the needs of her children, tends to talk more on the level of the child. Dads’ directions to their children tend to be longer than moms’, providing children with the opportunity to hear more words and then learn how they fit together to convey a thought.
4. Fathers Protect Against Crime and Violence—Fathers are more likely to keep their sons out of gangs, but more importantly, fathers give boys the things that can make gang life attractive. Boys learn from their dads that they matter, and don’t feel they have to force their way into manhood. Likewise, girls with good fathers are not as likely to fall to the pressure of sexually enterprising young boys, because well-fathered girls are more confident, having already gained the love of a good man.
5. Fathers Promote Better Treatment of Women—A good father demonstrates to both sons and daughters how a good man should treat women. This is shown by a father’s role modeling, as well as his less-than-good behavior. Research from the University of California looked at 90 different cultures to study how men’s participation in child care related to the status of women in these cultures. They found a very close connection, explaining, “Societies with significant paternal involvement in routine child care are more likely than father-absent societies to include women in public decisions and to allow women access to positions of authority.”
So as we approach Father’s Day — maybe you have an involved dad you wish to honor, or maybe you know a dad who is struggling in these areas, but wishes to do what is right. Might I suggest tuning into NewLife FM June 11th-15th and taking part in our Courageous Dads Give Away? Mon, Wed, and Fri. between 4:30 pm and 7 pm we will be giving away one combo prize package each day during NewLife Praise that contains the movie Courageous and the Courageous CD soundtrack. Courageous was filmed right here in GA and contains a powerful message for the dad in your life, a dad you know who may be struggling in fulfilling his role, or perhaps yourself!
Of course I wish there was a way to give a copy of this movie to every dad, but if you tune in and don’t win…please visit www.CourageousTheMovie.com to get a copy of this film and for more fathering resources.