Posts Tagged ‘Fathers’

Could Fathers Be Key to Preventing Bullying?

by Anna Sutherland | @annams59

  • Parents’ behavior and example influence children’s likelihood of bullying.
  • Indirect evidence suggests good dads might be key to preventing kids from becoming bullies.


Read more…


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Then Manoah prayed to the LORD, and said, “O my Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.” Judges 13:8 (NKJV)


Even the best of fathers will tell you they have their share of fatherhood regrets.  But, as JT Waresak[i] writes, “as I have watched, read and learned from these amazing fathers, I’ve picked up on some things that I know that they’ll never regret.”  Here are the 11 things he says we’ll never regret as dads:

  1. Spending More Time with our Children
  2. Being More Intentional
  3. Watching and Listening
  4. Loving our Children with Words
  5. Focusing On Character Over Performance
  6. Creating Adventures
  7. Praying With and For Our Children
  8. Inspiring Life Goals That Truly Matter
  9. Asking for Forgiveness
  10. Teaching Self-Discipline and Hard Work
  11. Sharing Jesus (the foundation that everything else rests upon)

This list is now exhaustive, but his point in sharing this list is to encourage all dads, including me as we try to do a better job as we help grow the hearts and minds of our children.   I have to stop to think; I may be a great worker and an awesome provider for my family, but if I’m not involved in living out these priorities on a daily basis for my kids, I’m negligent in one of the most important areas of my life.  Stop and ask yourself, as a father, if you’re not taking care of the most important things, why are you so busy with everything else?

When it’s all said and done, what is the most important thing you can do for your children?  If your answer is not to help them develop a personal relationship with Jesus, become His disciple, and prepare for His second coming, then you need to reevaluate your role as a father.  Here’s your challenge: read through this list, for the next 33 days begin to implement these – one every three days – and change your and their lives forever.

Father God, help me to take all the steps to lead my children to you.

[i] http://www.drjamesdobson.org/blogs/the-fatherhood-challenge/the-fatherhood-challenge/2015/09/09/dads-11-things-you-ll-never-regret?sc=FFB

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Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Genesis 29:16 (NKJV)

Linda Nielsen, a professor of educational and adolescent psychology at Wake Forest University,[i] analyzes current research which shows the important role fathers play in the life of their daughters.  She writes, “What is surprising is not that fathers have such an impact on their daughters’ relationships with men, but that they generally have more impact than mothers do.”  She adds that “well-fathered daughters are less likely to become clinically depressed or to develop eating disorders.”

The relationship and communication between a daughter and her father matter a great deal given the benefits a woman gains from communicating well with her father and feeling close to him.  And yet, both sons and daughters generally say they feel closer to their mothers and find it easier to talk to her, especially about anything personal.  This may have to do with the commonly held belief that children, and especially daughters, are “supposed” to talk more about personal issues with their mothers than with their fathers.  In addition, daughters tend to withhold more personal information than sons do from their fathers.  If compared to sons, daughters also tend to be more uncomfortable arguing with their dads, and take longer to get over their disagreements than when they argue with their mothers.  Interestingly, most daughters wish their fathers had talked with them more about sex and relationships, even if the conversations might have been uncomfortable at first.

The obvious question is, how can fathers and daughters forge a close, positive relationship? According to Nielsen, “Both fathers and daughters said in one study that participating in activities together, especially athletic activities,  working with their dads or vacationing alone with him.”

Nielsen advises, “While fathers may find it easier to relate to and connect with their sons, they should make the effort to build a close relationship with their daughters, too.”

Father God, help me to remember how important it is to my daughters to spend quality time with them and be intentional about doing so.

[i] http://family-studies.org/how-dads-affect-their-daughters-into-adulthood/?utm_source=IFS+Main+List&utm_campaign=732930c1fb-Newsletter_86&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c06b05f1ff-732930c1fb-104541745

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And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter. Esther 2:7 (NKJV)

Linda Nielsen, a professor of educational and adolescent psychology at Wake Forest University,[i] writes that “Conversations about the importance of fathers usually revolve around sons: how boys benefit from having a positive male role model, a consistent disciplinarian, and a high-energy roughhousing partner on their way to pursuing career and family success in adulthood.”  Recent research shows, however, that fathers also affect the lives of their young adult daughters in somewhat surprising ways.

According to this research, “daughters whose fathers have been actively engaged throughout childhood in promoting their academic or athletic achievements and encouraging their self-reliance and assertiveness are more likely to graduate from college and to enter the higher paying, more demanding jobs traditionally held by males.”  This may help explain why girls who have no brothers are overly represented among the world’s political leaders.  Evidently they tend to receive more encouragement from their fathers to be high achievers. Think of it, even college and professional female athletes often credit their fathers for helping them to become tenacious, self-disciplined, ambitious, and successful.

In the area of romance, girls who have a secure, supportive, communicative relationship with their father are less likely to get pregnant as a teenager and less likely to become sexually active in her early teens. This also leads to waiting longer to get married and to have children mainly because they are focused on achieving their educational goals first.  In addition, well-fathered daughters are also the most likely to have relationships with men that are emotionally intimate and fulfilling, and as a result these daughters generally have more satisfying, more long-lasting marriages. (continue tomorrow)

Father God, help me to be a good, loving, supportive father to my children, especially my daughters, so they will have a better chance at a good future educationally, professionally, and romantically.

[i] http://family-studies.org/how-dads-affect-their-daughters-into-adulthood/?utm_source=IFS+Main+List&utm_campaign=732930c1fb-Newsletter_86&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c06b05f1ff-732930c1fb-104541745

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The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 10:15 (NKJV)

Philadelphia columnist and best-selling author Solomon Jones, recently described his experience with non-custodial fatherhood as a “disjointed tapestry of love and distance, longing and hurt.” Jones has a daughter from his first marriage.  As he explains, a dad living away from his child “can be reduced to little more than a voice on a phone, a playmate on a weekend or a name on a check.”  He adds that living apart from his first child, “was painful because a father’s love is so often expressed through providing and protecting. And it’s difficult to provide and protect without presence.” On another column he expanded on this theme, “fatherhood works best when it is paired with motherhood and sealed by marriage.”

Alysse ElHage[i] says that a survey by the National Fatherhood Initiative found that 81 percent of dads agreed that, “men generally perform better as fathers if they are married to the mothers of their children.” In addition, men who did not live with their “focal child” (the one the survey asked about) were more likely than those who did to say that “they did not spend enough time with that child and that they did not feel very close to that child.”

According to David Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values, historically, “nurturant fatherhood has rested securely on two foundations: co-residency with children and a parental alliance with their mother.” Unfortunately, on average dads who do not live with their kids are less involved in their lives and have poorer relationships with them than resident fathers. A 2013 CDC report[ii] found that dads who lived with their children were significantly more likely to eat meals, play with, and read to their children regularly than non-resident fathers.

ElHage also presents additional research which shows that fathers experience hormonal changes during his wife’s pregnancy, with lover testosterone levels and a resulting lower hostility toward the infant once born. (will be continued tomorrow).

Father God, help me to be a good father, in your image.

[i] http://family-studies.org/how-marriage-makes-men-better-fathers/?utm_source=IFS+Main+List&utm_campaign=732930c1fb-Newsletter_86&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c06b05f1ff-732930c1fb-104541745

[ii] http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr071.pdf

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Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them. Psalm 22:4 (NKJV)

Alysse ElHage[i] writes about how marriagesmakes for better fathers.  According to her, one study by researchers at the University of Maryland and the University of Oklahoma concluded that “marriage per se confers advantage in terms of father involvement above and beyond the characteristics of the fathers themselves, whereas biology does not.” Interestingly, University of Maryland professor Sandra Hofferth, concluded that “cohabiting partners, even if they are biological father to the child, do not invest the same amount of time with children as married biological fathers, and they are less warm than the married biological fathers.”

In other words, cohabiting fathers are not as invested even in their own children as married fathers are.  One of the reasons is because cohabiting relationships are less secure than married relationships. One study[ii] found that children born to cohabiting parents in their twenties are three times more likely to experience parental breakup than the children of married parents.  Sadly, the large-scale Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study[iii] found that “father involvement drops sharply after relationships between unmarried parents end.”

What really makes the difference is the team effort with your wife and how both of you partner to raise your children.  Researchers have referred to this as the “package deal”[iv] of fathering, where a man’s relationship status with his child’s mother predicts his level of involvement in that child’s life.  According to the Mother Bodies, Father Bodies report,[v] “Fathers tend to parent in triads with mothers.  “Especially with their young children, fathers defer to mothers, look to them for permission and guidance, and are more apt to exit the lives of their children when the primary relationship with the mother ends.”

Finally, a 2008 study[vi] found that “the combination of a supportive co-parenting relationship and an encouraging partner is one in which involved, competent fathering behavior is likely.”  So, partner with your wife and commit together to the well-being of your children.

Father God, strengthen our marital team effort to raise our children.

[i] http://family-studies.org/how-marriage-makes-men-better-fathers/?utm_source=IFS+Main+List&utm_campaign=732930c1fb-Newsletter_86&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c06b05f1ff-732930c1fb-104541745

[ii] http://twentysomethingmarriage.org/in-brief/

[iii] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3000012/

[iv] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3000012/

[v] http://www.americanvalues.org/search/item.php?id=2508

[vi] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18540767

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