Studies continue to confirm the importance of a good father’s role in raising emotionally healthy children. Today, we’re going to specifically discuss why a father’s presence impacts his daughter’s emotional growth and why I would consider becoming a stay-at-home dad.
“Mr. Mom” came out in 1983. My parents watched it on VHS when I was a child. While I barely remember the plot, the idea of a stay-at-home dad was an odd and novel idea at the time. A normal family was one in which Dad worked and Mom stayed at home and raised the children.
My family was no exception. Dad worked 6 days a week, 12 + hours a day. He wanted to make sure he was a good provider…and he was. However, my dad also missed some monumental moments in my life.
The tide seems to have changed. Stay-at-home dads are no longer brow-raising. Over 2 million men are part of this growing trend, and for good reason too. Studies show a father’s presence can have profound impact on children…both boy and girl alike.
It would seem a father’s presence would affect a son more so than a daughter, right? But a father’s involvement can specifically lead to his daughter’s scholarship, vocational, and relationship success. These are 3 reasons why I would consider becoming a stay-at-home dad for our daughter.
I might already be going through multiplication tables with my 3 month old daughter. Whether or not she remembers any of it, it’s most important I’m actively engaged. “As you might guess, 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.”
I’m already observing my daughter and taking note of what she enjoys. More than anything, I want to be there to encourage her in whatever she decides to pursue. I get to be there through her process of self-discovery.
Wake Forest Psychologist Linda Nielsen writes, “Indeed, a daughter’s relationship with her father during her teenage years is more closely related to her future academic and vocational success than her teenage relationship with her mother.
Diane Sawyer, a television journalist, recalled how her father would ask her, “What great question did you ask today?” Perhaps that daily question is a good part of the reason she’s been working in journalism for 55 years! In 2008, Forbes listed her as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women.
When it comes to relationships, a father may have more impact on his daughter than the mother. A dad will “set the first model of how a relationship with a man” will be. It’s not that odd or coincidental that my sister married a man who is uncannily similar to my dad.
“The daughter who has a fulfilling relationship with her father is usually more trusting, more secure and more satisfied in her romantic relationships than the daughter with a troubled or distant relationship with her dad,” regardless of whether her parents are married or divorced, according to Linda Nielsen.
For me, as a new dad, these are three good reasons why I would never feel any sort of shame if I became a stay-at-home dad. I want to be a provider, protector…and be present. That can seem overwhelming at times as a man, but it starts with the little things with our newborn: changing diapers, putting on clothes, bathing her, and taking her on walks. The only big thing I have to worry about is loving her mom well since our daughter is continually growing and learning from our interactions.