Happy fathers equal happy children

Not so long ago we were amazed when a cover of The Economist was linked to one of the key articles titled: How to make a good teacher. This week, The Guardian and the BBC News astonished us by reporting on a study on how children benefit from loving, confident and happy fathers.

http://issa.nl/sites/default/files/field/image/one-hundred-days-baby.jpgThe Study conducted by a group of Oxford University researchers suggested that fathers’ confidence and self-identification with parenting influence positive behavioral outcomes in children much more than the quantity of involvement of fathers in childcare and household chores. In other words, it is the psychological and emotional aspects of parenting, not the quantity of tasks that may lead to a positive upbringing.

In their longitudinal study, researchers followed a group of children, starting with 14,701 one-year-olds who have been continuously monitored up to the age of 11. At the end of the study, there was a group of 6,328 children, who still lived with both parents. Results have shown that the children of fathers with positive attitudes to parenting were less likely to experience behavioral problems, and it did not matter how often the father did the dishes.

While, we do not advocate for freeing of men from household chores. Actually, it is possible that men who enjoy parenting and family life may help with household more. What we are trying to highlight is that the emotional connection and emotional response to a being parent plays and extremely important role.

ACEV – Mother Child Education Foundation – ISSA member from Turkey understood this principle long before the study was published and while their title suggests a focus on the mother and child, they intensively focus on fathers, too. ACEV’s Father Support Program focuses aims to use face-to-face training for dads to communicate effectively with their children, to support their children’s development, to have reciprocity and closeness in their relationship, to share responsibilities in household and to adapt democratic attitudes at home. The program has already reached 67,000 fathers and children.

At ISSA and Romani Early Years Network we support cooperation and exchange of information. We are happy to provide inspiration – see how ACEV’s program works in their video. Get in touch with us for more ideas, let’s work together to involve more fathers more intimately with their children. It is good to be happy about parenthood and now there is more evidence we can use for our joint advocacy.