Buehner Books

Dads; the benefits of hands-on parenting

December 20th, 2013

Mark Buehner with Heidi, 1986

Two news articles highlight the important of fathers in the lives of their children. In one article () it’s reported that men are doing more as fathers than a decade ago, and that this is important “because others have found the more involved dads are, the better the outcomes for their children,” said researcher Jo Jones of the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control Prevention. She co-authored the report released Friday.

More academic success, fewer behavior problems and healthier eating habits are just some of the ways fathers’ involvement has been linked with children’s well-being.

in another article, researcher Brad Wilcox, raised by a single mother himself, questions whether or not recent school shootings are related to divorce. He says ”the social scientific evidence about the connection between violence and broken homes could not be clearer. My own research suggests that boys living in single mother homes are almost twice as likely to end up delinquent compared to boys who enjoy good relationships with their father.’”

While Wilcox notes that most boys will do all right, the clarity of the evidence suggests that public policy should focus on changing what we know affects children – the dissolution of their parents’ marriage.

Another researcher cited it the article, Kay Hymowitz, writes ‘family researchers following the children of the divorce revolution noticed that while both girls and boys showed distress when their parents split up, they had different ways of showing it. Girls tended to “internalize” their unhappiness: they became depressed and anxious, and many cut themselves or got into drugs or alcohol. Boys, on the other hand, ‘externalized’ or “acted out”: they became ore impulsive, aggressive, and “antisocial.”

Another study reported this week from the University of Michigan found that in Flint, Mich., the largest predictor of youth violence was a shortage of men in the community and the home. (see Eric Schulzke, December 20, 2013 Deseret News. Online link currently unavailable).

As parents and educators, perhaps one of places we should place more of our focus is on strengthening the relationships between parents.I know I’m grateful for the sterling sons I am raising, and credit that largely to their good father.