Issue 101


Grassroots with passion

FEA TURE DADS DO IT Isn’t it great that Dads don’t parent like Moms? Celebrate the unique differences that fathers bring to the family. DIFFERENTLY

explains that children who roughhouse with their fathers learn that biting, kicking and other forms of physical violence are not acceptable. They learn self-control by being told when “enough is enough” and when to settle down. Girls and boys both learn a healthy balance between timidity and aggression. Fathers build confidence Go to any playground and listen to the parents. Who is encouraging kids to swing or climb just a little higher, ride their bike just a little faster, throw just a little harder? Who is encouraging kids to be careful? Mothers protect and dads encourage kids to push the limits. Either of these parenting styles by themselves can be unhealthy. One can tend toward encouraging risk without consideration of consequences. The other tends to avoid risk, which can fail to build independence and confidence. Together, they help children remain safe while expanding their experiences and increasing their confidence.

Times have changed, we all know that. Mothers no longer simply stay at home and raise children; many have jobs and careers of their own. Fathers are no longer just breadwinners; they are also caregivers to their children. Much of the value mothers and fathers bring to their children is due to the fact that females and males are different – and difference is good. The father, as the male parent, brings unique contributions to the job of parenting that a mother cannot. Psychology Today stated, “Fatherhood turns out to be a complex and unique phenomenon with huge consequences for the emotional and intellectual growth of children.” Erik Erikson, a pioneer in the world of child psychology, asserts that a father’s love and a mother’s love are qualitatively different. The following are some compelling ways that a father’s involvement makes a positive difference in a child’s life. Fathers parent differently Fathering expert Dr Kyle Pruett explains that fathers have a distinct style of communication and interaction with children. By eight weeks of age, infants can tell the difference between their mother and father’s interaction with them. This diversity, in itself, provides children with a broader, richer experience of contrasting relational interactions. Whether they realise it or not, children are learning, by sheer experience, that men and women are different and have different ways of dealing with life, other adults and children. This understanding is critical for their development. Fathers play differently Fathers tickle more, they wrestle, and they throw their children in the air. Fathers chase their children, sometimes as playful scary “monsters.” Fathering expert John Snarey

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