Father and children relationship

The Psychology Behind Strained Father Son Relationships

father and children relationship

Besides those benefits, there are some positives specific to a good father-son relationship. For example, the researchers at the University of Oxford also report . A father brings unique contributions to the job of parenting a child that no one rules), while mothers stress sympathy, care and help (based on relationships). Over the years of working with men in therapy, I discovered that the issues that so often come up could often be traced back to father son relationships.

Because they've gotten used to those familial and historic behavioral patterns, they think that they can handle them in relationships.

Boys on the other hand, will model themselves after their fathers. They will look for their father's approval in everything they do, and copy those behaviors that they recognize as both successful and familiar. Thus, if dad was abusive, controlling, and dominating, those will be the patterns that their sons will imitate and emulate.

However, if father is loving, kind, supportive, and protective, boys will want to be that. Human beings are social animals and we learn by modeling behavior. In fact, all primates learn how to survive and function successfully in the world through social imitation.

Those early patterns of interaction are all children know, and it is those patterns that effect how they feel about themselves, and how they develop. It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of dad. For example, girls who have good relationships with their fathers tend to do better in mathand boys who have actively involved fathers tend to have better grades and perform better on achievement tests.

And well-bonded boys develop securely with a stable and sustained sense of self. Who we are and who we are to be, we are becoming, and fathers are central to that outcome. Only 20 percent of American households consist of married couples with children. Filling the gap are family structures of all kinds, with dads stepping up to the plate and taking on a myriad of roles. When they are engaged, fathers can really make a difference.

Keys to A Great Father-Child Relationship | HealthyPlace

Print Why Dads Matter Fathers play an important role in a child's development from birth through adulthood. In fact, numerous studies have reached the same conclusion: Children with involved fathers have an advantage -- socially and academically -- over children with distant or no relationships with their dads. Interestingly, this result holds true even if the father doesn't live in the same home as the child -- for example, in divorce situations.

It appears that how involved the dad is -- not where he lives in relation to the child -- is the crucial factor. According to a study at the University of Illinois, children with fathers who take the time to ask about what they learned in school and their day-to-day social activities and relationships do better in school than kids who don't have that kind of input or interest. And it's important to note that this father figure doesn't have to be a biological father in order for children to benefit.

Suggestions for Fathers Children both admire and fear their father's strength.

father and children relationship

On one hand they want their father to be strong and powerful in the sense of being self-confident and determined but they may also be frightened at times by that power.

Walking the middle ground between dominance and permissiveness can sometimes be difficult for a father. How can fathers establish a sense of influence? First, they can establish and maintain reasonable limits for their children. But they also benefit from parents who gradually allow them to make decisions on their own. Fathers could also be responsive to their children's interests. Instead of always telling them what to do, fathers could listen and be responsive to their children's suggestions whenever possible.

When shopping, for example, a father might let his 5-year-old choose one or two stores to visit. Similarly, a father might ask his son or daughter to suggest a game to play or a movie to see.

The Role of Fathers with Daughters and Sons

There are times, though, when children do not have these kinds of choices. Parents often have to have the final word. The goal might be to achieve an appropriate balance of influence in the relationship. The Relationship Deepens When people feel accepted and respected in a relationship, they will begin to develop close feelings of mutual affection.

Parents who are never involved with their children and are either too permissive or too dominant are not likely to become close to their children. Fathers who expect to be constantly vigilant disciplinarians who show no tenderness create a climate of coldness that puts distance in their relationships. Sometimes the effect can be painful. Following a presentation to a community group, the speaker was approached by a man who wanted to ask a question about his adult son. He said that he and his boy had never been close.

He was, in his words, the typical busy father who disciplined his kids but didn't show them much affection. Not long ago he suffered a heart attack and was not expected to live.

When his son visited him in the hospital room they experienced a moment of intimacy that the father found deeply rewarding. For the first time in their lives both men expressed their love for each other. The words, "I love you, Dad" meant a great deal to this very sick father. Following his recovery, however, he realized he was gradually slipping back into his old patterns of coldness and isolation.

The threat of death made this man more aware of the emptiness that existed between him and his son. He was struggling with the idea that although change would be difficult there was hope if he was willing to take risks and make the effort. By expressing affection through words and deeds, parents send another clear and emphatic message to their children: I want to be close to you; I love you.

You are special to me. I am willing to share myself so you can get to know me better. You give me joy. In our closest relationships we seek these bonds of affection.

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Talking about these feelings has traditionally been easier for women than for men, but, like the father in the previous example, men are beginning to acknowledge the importance of intimacy and affection. They also are more willing to express the softer, gentler side of themselves.

What the Research Shows Research on father-child affection demonstrates that: Unloving, punitive, authoritarian fathers tend to produce dependent, withdrawn, anxiousand dejected children. Alienated adolescents view their parents as hostile and nonaccepting.

father and children relationship

Daughters wished they had received, and fathers wished they had given, more affection and support. These same boys usually scored high on the masculinity scale of the questionnaire. Suggestions for Fathers A parent-child relationship might be compared to a bank account. Every negative act - a frown, a slap, a "no" or "I'm busy" - is like a withdrawal from the account.

In contrast, affectionate, caring actions are like deposits in the relationship account. If the withdrawals exceed the deposits, the relationship breaks down into mutual distrust and isolation - it becomes bankrupt.

Fathers who have to make a large number of withdrawals can do so if their deposits of warmth, support and nurturance are high enough.

The Important Role of Dad

Fathers can be both tough when necessary and tender when needed. Tenderness can be difficult for some fathers because of its association with sexuality. One expectant father was concerned that he could have difficulty expressing affection if he had a son. He thought he might feel uncomfortable kissing and hugging a little boy.

As it turned out, a son was born and he and his father are affectionate and close. The new father felt no hesitancy about expressing his feelings. Some fathers may become uncomfortable with expressing affection to adolescent daughters. This unfortunate association of affection with sexuality can deprive people of the closeness they deeply need in their relationships.

There are many ways in which men can express their affection for their children. Some may feel comfortable talking with their children.

Others may let their actions reveal their feelings. Some expressions, like hugging, are obvious while others, like quiet self-sacrifice, are more subtle.

father and children relationship