If you see a child walking down the street that looks like they’ve been dressed from the lost property box, it’s ok, they’ve probably just been dressed by Dad.
I’m a bit of a control freak. Ok, I’m quite a big one. My problem is that I think because I’m the Mother, the way I do things must be the right way to do things. Unfortunately for me, research suggests that this isn’t always the case.
I find myself getting frustrated when I hear my husband explaining to the kids why they mustn’t put things in the plug sockets. It’s not a short explanation; they’re getting a full on lesson about electricity and the effects on the human body. A subject that enthrals a three year old. I think our daughter’s personal favourite is the explanation about stoichiometric combustion of a hydrocarbon or how a car goes.
I am fortunate that my husband does 50% of the childcare whilst I’m at work. Not only does this mean that he fully appreciates who has the hardest job whilst the other is at work, ergo toileting in peace and eating lunch with both hands (not at the same time), but it gives the children a day of completely different play that they wouldn’t get with me. Most of it will very likely include sitting in front of the telly, but it’ll also be filled with excitement, risk-taking and jumping around like loons.
According to Father Involvement Research Alliance, infants of highly involved fathers, “are more cognitively competent at 6 months and score higher on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. By one year they continue to have higher cognitive functioning, are better problem solvers as toddlers, and have higher IQ’s by age three”
“When compared with mothers, fathers’ talk with toddlers is characterized by more wh- (e.g. “what”, where” etc.) questions, which requires children to assume more communicative responsibility in the interaction. This encouraged toddlers to talk more, use more diverse vocabulary, and produce longer utterances when interacting with their fathers.”
The benefits work in other ways too:
“Men who are involved fathers feel more self confident and effective as parents, find parenthood more satisfying, feel more intrinsically important to their child and feel encouraged to be even more involved. Spending time taking care of children provides fathers with opportunities to display affection and to nurture their children”
*Sigh* It looks like I’m going to have to endure those long explanations about the massive electrostatic discharge between electrically charged regions within clouds followed by an expansion of air creating a sonic shock wave, or in other words, thunder and lightning.
As easy as it is to pick fault in everything they do, Dads are actually quite useful to have around after all. So the next time you cringe and think, “that’s not how I do it,” just think, being dressed like a refugee won’t matter when they have the IQ of Stephen Hawking and can clamber up the climbing frame using only their teeth.