Psychologists call the relationship between child and parent “attachment.” Attachment theory, or the study of these relationships, has shed light on the importance of the relationships between parent and child as well as pointed out some of the key steps parents can take to raise their children well. In addition, mothers and fathers take on different roles in bringing up a well-developed child.
The warmth that parents bring to their children’s lives starts at infancy. Moms and dads of young children shower their kids with baby-talk and physical touch. These behaviours show the child that others are sensitive of their needs and that parent can be relied on for emotional responsiveness. As a child grows older, he finds warmth in the parent-child relationship in other ways, specifically in receiving the fulfilment of his emotional needs, whether they be play or intimate/ deep-humour’s conversation. Warmth in parenting can lead to a cooperative child, who is well-developed socially and emotionally.
Over the past 20 years single-parent families have become even more common than the so-called “nuclear family” consisting of a mother, father and children. Today we see all sorts of single parent families: headed by mothers, headed by fathers, headed by a grandparent raising their grandchildren.
Life in a single parent household — though common — can be quite stressful for the adult and the children. Members may unrealistically expect that the family can function like a two-parent family, and may feel that something is wrong when it can not. The single parent may feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of juggling caring for the children, maintaining a job and keeping up with the bills and household chores. And typically, the family’s finances and resources are drastically reduced following the parents’ breakup.
Single parent families deal with many other pressures and potential problem areas that the nuclear family does not have to face.
Play with dad could help bridge cognitive, social and emotional learning gaps among children.
Please can we stop telling fathers just to pay for their children? They’re more than walking wallets. We should also emphasise that spending time with children and playing is just as important for early childhood development. That’s because play by fathers can have special, often irreplaceable qualities. Sometimes dad’s way of playing involves a bit of magic and fun that can transform lives, particularly for disadvantaged children.
So it’s a mistake to demand that fathers work round the clock — perhaps for just $XYZ an hour — and fail to offer them support to spend time with children. That’s especially true if the kids are asleep when dad gets home and there’s no time to just hang out or play.
A research shows how these dads try to square the circle of paying and playing. In one family, the father, working hard the whole day handling his Business, social life, family, etc., would wake up his toddler late at night when he got home so they could play for an hour or two, that’s truly special. And just a secret to this: My fathers does the same to my brother and me when he arrives late so that he could just spend his time with us to cherish his day-end. Otherwise they wouldn’t have had time together from one Sunday to the next. The child would be tired the next day, but this was the only way the father saw to manage his responsibilities both to support his child financially and to spend time with him/her.
“Rough and tumble with dad is associated with learning to regulate emotions and manage social relationships. Dads pose more questions … boosting vocabulary, language and verbal reasoning.”
Two factors explain why it’s vital that public policy makers prioritise fathers playing with their young children. First, play is important for children intrinsically in the early years. That’s why it underpins institutional practice and curricula – play is recognised as a foundation of cognitive development as well as social and emotional learning. So if play is at the heart of early learning, it should also be a focus of parenting, whether by mothers or fathers.
Social and emotional learning
Second, research shows that play with dad can deliver elements of child development that mom might not offer as much or as often. For example, the rough and tumble with dad is associated with learning how to regulate emotions and manage social relationships. This learning is then transferred to peer relationships and is vital for a successful adult life.
Fathers can also act as challenging communication partners for children from an early age, aiding cognitive development. They tend to speak to their children differently from the way mothers do. Dads pose more questions that require conversation. They particularly use wh-questions, such as ‘what, why, who, when’. These types of questions encourage complex responses from children, boosting their vocabulary and language. Such skills can then provide pathways for enhanced development of verbal reasoning.
These two factors, perhaps, are reason enough for rethinking advice to and support for fathers around play. But the third factor should be a clincher for policy makers who seek to reduce poverty’s impact on early childhood development.
Father’s play is a promising place to start in any quest to break the link between childhood needs and impoverished education and learning. That’s because some, though not all, dads are extremely good at the challenging wh-question communications which so benefit children’s cognitive development. They can also be very good at the rough and tumble plays that support children’s social and emotional learning. Indeed, in play, some fathers are at least as competent as some of the most able well reserved fathers. Many dads are invested and motivated to make sure their children have the best chance to achieve a good life not caring of their average savings.
“If fathers are going to ‘pay and play’, we must rethink how ‘responsible’ dads are defined and how they should be supported.”
So what is to be done? First, fathers should understand that they have skills and responsibilities to play in particular ways with their children. They should also know that the way they engage with their children matters for their social, emotional and cognitive development. The particularity of their input means that it’s not a responsibility they can pass to mothers, other siblings or outsiders. They have something special to offer early childhood development through play. If they don’t use it, then their children might lose it.
Policy can support play with fathers
Policy has to change, too. It is hard to legislate for play. But policy makers can tell fathers, their partners and the public some facts from well-established research about early childhood development. And they can provide opportunities for father play.
If the authorities insist, for example, that dads pay child support after parental breakups, but visitation time is not universally built in, then they’re letting the children down. If Head Start talks only about moms, it diminishes fathers’ opportunities to do a good job. All of this has implications about how, for example, leave arrangements for fathers are structured and how early years services are delivered. If fathers are going to ‘pay and play’, we must rethink how ‘responsible’ dads are defined and how they should be supported.
There are few problems that affect the child, parent or the entire family due to single parenting.
- Visitation and custody problems.
- The effects of continuing conflict between the parents.
- Less opportunity for parents and children to spend time together.
- Effects of the breakup on children’s school performance and peer relations.
- Disruptions of extended family relationships.
- Problems caused by the parents’ dating and entering new relationships.
The single parent can help family members face these difficulties by talking with each other about their feelings and working together to tackle problems. Support from friends, other family members and the church or synagogue can help too. But if family members are still overwhelmed and having problems, it may be time to consult an expert. Here, remember that speaking to experts isn’t bad or tagging you of any mental illness.
To the part of my conclusion statement,
I feel that there is a unique attachment between the father and the children is very special and magical. My question is that why only the mothers are given the maternity leave and not the fathers? Why the fathers cannot play an important role in raising his children better than the others? I really salute my FATHER for being so supportive and always being a shield to protect us and guide us for understanding every situation and decision. According to a recent study, it has been proved that the children are now being more inclined towards their fathers for any predicament.
Fathers’ its time for y’all to claim your rights; glorification and accolade in raising your children.
#PAPA, PLAY ALONG PAY