Anyone who’s even vaguely familiar with men’s issues – and gender equality that goes both ways – know that fathers have a unique role to play in their children’s lives.
A few examples include:
- Having a relationship with their father, prevents boys from turning to crime.
- Boys who have fond memories of their father, are more likely to handle stress better.
- Difficult-to-raise preschoolers have fewer problems if the father is actively involved in raising them.
A new study demonstrates that the father-child relationship is important for yet another reason. Namely, that persistence is primarily learned from fathers.
Medical Xpress writes:
BYU professors Laura Padilla-Walker and Randal Day arrived at these findings after following 325 families over several years. And over time, the persistence gained through fathers lead to higher engagement in school and lower rates of delinquency.
“In our research we ask ‘Can your child stick with a task? Can they finish a project? Can they make a goal and complete it?’” Day said. “Learning to stick with it sets a foundation for kids to flourish and to cope with the stress and pressures of life.”
Persistence is a terribly important trait in life. Without it, you are unlikely to accomplish much at all. Especially the male gender role is built on persistence, so men who do not learn this are less likely to succeed.
So what is it that fathers do right, when they teach persistence?
The key is for dads to practice what’s called “authoritative” parenting – not to be confused with authoritarian. Here are the three basic ingredients:
- Children feel warmth and love from their father
- Accountability and the reasons behind rules are emphasized
- Children are granted an appropriate level of autonomy
I would say that these characteristics are what people think of when they think of a good father. Loving the child, but also expecting accountability, and preparing the child for its adult life.
Most of us simply know, instinctively, that fathers are important. But it is good to have it verified once more by reasearch.