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Dads! Do Kids Need Them?
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Dads! Do Kids Need Them?

OK, so there are some guys out there who would have been better fathers if they’d been born into the species of praying mantis known as the Mantis Religiosa. They’re possibly the only species whose reproduction depends on the male getting their heads ripped off by the female of the species before copulation.

However, girls, it must be admitted that these guys are in the minority.

Sometimes men can be irresponsible sons, lousy lovers or even bad husbands but there are very few, if given the chance, who won’t strive to be the best dads that they know how to be.

Much credit is given to the importance of mothers. In our society of single mothers (and single dads) and separated couples we’ve even given a lot of publicity to the belief that kids are just as well off with only a single parent figure in their life.

Let me say up front I think these single parents (male or female) deserve a medal! This article isn’t a statement on any single situation.

It needs saying, however, that dad’s give kids some very real and tangible benefits that as a mother I, for one, am not so well equipped to provide.

In no particular order here are some benefits of having an actively involved dad.

A Calmer Mother

Women are emotional beings. We’re loving, generous, funny… and easily stressed. Raising kids is hard work and it’s a 24/7 commitment. When a woman is a full time mom it helps when there’s a full time dad to pull beside her.

My husband travels for work sometimes and I know the difference of a household with, and without, a dad.

Kids benefit from a parenting team. It’s calmer.

Exposure To Male Interests

Kids love being busy and boys, particularly, benefit from being able to do ‘boy things’ with their dads. My sons would have much less exposure to physical activity without their more active dad around.

He’s also introduced them to model trains, building plastic models and has the interest and patience to build Lego with them for hours.

Technical Knowledge

There are some very clever ladies out there. I’m betting there’s more who aren’t when it comes to certain topics. Ideally two parents compliment each other. My husband doesn’t know much about patchwork but he can explain the theory of flight in detail, how to change a tire and the difference between the New York Islanders and the New York Rangers.

While moms tend to nag (“do your homework”, “eat your vegetables”) dads tend to give sound advice (“don’t stick your tongue on that frozen light post”).

Women

Kids learn from their dad how to treat a woman. They watch how their dad loves and interacts with their mom and his mother too. This can’t be underestimated. Children learn what they see.

My dad always says that the best thing you can do for your children is to love their mother.

My daughter has all the validation of beauty that she needs through the eyes of her dad. Forget magazines! My daughter positively glows from a daddy compliment.

My mother was an example to me of many wonderful things. My father taught me that the only make up a woman needed was a smile.

Little girls learn they deserve love and respect from a man and little boys learn how to give it… from dad!

Combat and Aggression

My son’s need to rough house. It’s somehow hard wired into boys. When my husband was away for 3 weeks a few years ago my 70-year-old dad stepped in to roll around the floor and help them let off some steam. They just needed to get rid of some energy and aggression in a positive way.

Dads just understand that kids need to get physical and in the course of this they teach other important things like how to play fair, risk taking, knowing when to stop and it’s OK to cry.

And as my daughter wades into the fray joyously proclaiming she’s a pony and needs a cuddle my husband demonstrates patience and ninja like coping strategies.

This isn’t about a battle of the sexes.

It’s about working as a team (regardless of relationship status) to have well balanced and happy kids.

I’d love to hear what some other moms think their kids’ dads provide that they don’t. I’d also love to hear what dad’s think they do better; or at least differently.

In response to another article I shared about moms, one of my readers asked “What about us dads?” Well, perhaps I’m not qualified to comment. I’m not male, after all, but from what I’ve seen I think dads are not only important, they amazing and awesome too.


Street Talk

Very interesting articles. I believe that a child needs both parents in order to become a responsible adult.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks for stopping by Balas!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Hi Heather, Great article. This is one important factor that I am supporting with my article. Let me know what you think. I just submitted my part II hopefully it will be approved soon so you can see the support I am giving for your article and families as a whole. Regards, Daniel

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

HI Daniel, thanks for stopping by and your support. I'm sorry I haven't been around much... we've just made an international move!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Ai Hoon  

Great article Heather. Dads are equally important as moms and I agree, children grow by learning from their parents. Actions and values are normally imprinted on children's minds from an early stage. Teenagers would have less angst and anger with good guidance from both mom and dad. For example, my brothers and I wouldn't grow up to be responsible respectful people if our parents didn't show us that example. Our dad was always firm with us but understanding. Dad played the role of the disciplinarian and that was key I suppose because mom was too soft hearted to scold or punish us when we did wrong. So yeah, dads play a very important role in a kid's life. Both parents are needed to shape a child's life and values. Thanks Heather!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Lovely to see you and thanks for your supportive comments!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Great Memory Booster! I remember my Mom and Dad dancing through the house and then my sister and I would get our turn. He taught us to dance standing on top of his shoes.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Lovely!!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Joan S  

Funny, we were three girls too. Unfortunately, we lost our dad when we were little, but I have good memories of him. He was an architect and used to take me on sites with him. I was very little, but he taught me how to drive a nail into a pine board. I thought it was the best. Two parents add balance in a home. I still miss my dad.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Hi Joan, I love your dad memories. My dad took me to work with him on the building site when I was so little a nappy/diaper bag went too. Not only did he love having me along it gave mum a break too. Thanks for your comment that inspired these memories for us both!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

What can I say Heather? I'm gob smacked at your take of a fathers uses around the kids, I the "What about us Dads?" fame, could not have written a better article on the take from our side, you covered it all. I so wanted to write an article on this and now I am glad I could not get one together, I sat for hours trying to get my head around the subject. If I had an article on the subject I would have now tossed it out the door. Yours too good for me, well done. I am glad that we are around for more than just procreation and maybe the male of the specie has no real use in raising a child than be there to protect the family. I equate it to the animal kingdom, where a male jumps on, jumps off, the young is born and his only job protecting the family. I think of years ago where this was probably the case with the human race, and only in the last couple of centuries has the male role in child raising become more involved. I was lucky to have 5 years on my farm just when my children where of a young age and they could spend all day with me doing things on the farm. It was a good bonding time when I could teach the things I knew of nature etc, if I had of been off to the office our time together would have been less and I would probably missed a lot of their lives. However I cannot improve on your take and most certainly will not try, good one I love it.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Rob, everything you have just said is very valid: the male role has changed, dads are the family protector, children benefit when their dads can be with them as you were on the farm, many dads miss much of their children's lives (which is often an unavoidable tragedy). One more paragraph and you would have certainly reached the 400 words and said a lot of very relevant things that would have both supported and surpassed my take on things. Glad you enjoyed my article though. I brain stormed with my husband and he told me I was thinking like a woman! lol. Funny that!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thank God you think like a women, it made the article for you, I brain stormed and couldn't come up with much. But a good article stimulates others thinking, and your articles do this for me. That's why I enjoy them so much.

  
  about 1 decade ago
Tracy Cox  

I really enjoyed this article Heather. Children need a good stable family with both parents if possible.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I agree Tracy.... oh to have an ideal world!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
AnnMarie  

Loved this article, Heather. This could be entitled - Tips to a Happy Home. Thanks.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thank AnnMarie!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
C4rmen  

There is nothing quite like a a balanced home to set your kids up for life! Well done Heather and thanks for sharing.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I agree C4men. Luckily children are adaptable and I do agree they're ahead if the home is balanced to start with.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Great article Heather. As a dad with three girls, I never had the chance to play around with little boys until my grandson came along. It has been a blast playing with him.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Daniel, I truly believe that my dad never regretted having only three daughters either. He has enjoyed my sons immensely too though. Every child is unique and boys and girls each have their special bits too!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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