In honor of Fathers’ Day

Every child can benefit from the influence of a good father, or good father-figure.

Children who have a father or father-figure who pays attention to them have a stronger belief in their own ability to control and determine their own fates.  They score higher on tests.  They have higher self-esteem

Girls who have a father or father-figure who pays attention to them feel more affirmed as females which delays early sexual experimentation. (If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will)

How to you pay attention?  Put down the newspaper when your child talks to you.  Turn off the TV, close the laptop.  Play a game of your child’s choice.  Leave a note for your child when you travel.  Send them an e-mail or a text.  Tell them about something you are  doing or are interested it, in an age-appropriate way.

My beloved father used to leave me or mail me rebus notes when he was on a business trip.  When I thought I wanted to be dentist in the ’50’s when there were few women in dentistry, he brought home a plastic dental kit.  I still have parts of it today.  He drove me to high school almost every day and discussed things I was interested it.

Key idea:  Parents, especially the less available parent, need to make sure they take care of the relationship with their children, and not just the discipline.

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