Six Ways Dads Influence How Their Kids Turn Out
If your kids forget you on Father's Day, take comfort in the fact that they owe you MUCH more than they realize.
According to research, fathers have a significant impact on how smart their kids are, how well-behaved they are, how well they eat, how popular they are . . . and for daughters, how ambitious they are and how early they become sexually active.
Now Dad, that's a pretty awesome responsibility we have here, isn't it? ESPECIALLY if we have daughters or granddaughters.
I confess, when I talked about this on the show today, I had more than a few moments of reflection and thought about how I raised MY kids. How did I do? In some areas, I think I did well. And then I cringe thinking about other areas. But I think that my boys know that I always tried to do my very best, even though it might not have looked like it at any particular time. As they've aged and had families of their own, they gain a greater insight into things, and tend to be a little more forgiving of my blunders as a dad.
CafeMom.com put together a good list of all the ways we can POSITIVELY impact our kids. See if you see yourself doing these things, Dad. Grandpa.
1. Fathers can make their kids grow up smart. The way fathers talk when they play with their kids can have an important effect on language development. And infants who have involved and nurturing fathers grow up to have higher IQs.
2. Fathers can determine when their daughters become sexually active. Not by grounding them until they're 40, although that would work in theory. When fathers are absent in their daughters' lives, the daughters tend to lose their virginity earlier in life.
3. Fathers can influence how well-behaved their children are. Depression in fathers of young children is linked to behavioral problems when the kids are older. And kids whose fathers are involved in their lives are less likely to get in trouble at school.
(And here's something interesting: rough-housing between fathers and kids can help CONTROL bullying behaviors later. The theory is that it teaches children how to manage their aggressive impulses without losing control of their emotions.)
4. Fathers influence their children's eating habits. One study found that the number of times a father ate fast food was the biggest influence on how often his children ate it. And children of authoritarian fathers are also more likely to eat junk food.
5. Fathers can determine how popular their kids turn out to be. Children with an involved father are more confident and emotionally secure, and they tend to have better social connections with their peers.
6. Fathers can also have a special impact on their daughters' future success. According to research, fathers who believe in gender equality are more likely to have daughters with high career ambitions.
Like I said, it's a LOT of responsibility. But I think we're up to it.