We know that a dad’s involvement from very early on is important. In writing an article for a parents magazine, I compiled an overwhelming collection of evidence towards the benefits of dad being present at home. I am pretty convinced that we know this already, and choose to behave otherwise because it is, ironically “for our family”… or is it?
While it is shown that children can satisfactorily develop (emotionally mentally, and physically) provided they have a secure attachment with at least one intimate caregiver, the optimum for infants and young children is three secure attachments. The numerous articles did not point to gender or sexuality. Three though?! Now I know why the security blanket is secure.
High father involvement in childhood and adolescence is correlated with:
- Lower adolescent risk behavior including smoking and criminality
- Better peer relationships (notice not peer choices)
- Higher educational / occupational mobility relative to parents’
- Greater capacity for empathy
- Non-traditional attitudes to earning and childcare
- More satisfying adult sexual partnerships (hopefully once they are married)
- Higher self-esteem and life-satisfaction
Conversely, the low levels of involvement by fathers are associated with a range of negative outcomes and this is seen right from the outset. Basically, fathers that are not around as a secure attachment in the first year increases the likelihood of their 3 year old child having developmental problems.
What you going to say dad? Can you take paternity leave? or you going to leave the paternity to get back to the work?
When a Dad is in, Everyone Wins