What's keeping dads from being more involved parents?

What's keeping dads from being more involved parents?

Here's what's preventing dads from becoming more effective parents

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “too many fathers become convinced that they are simply an extra set of hands to help around the house, rather than irreplaceable to their children.”


Photo: Dreamstime

Several studies have shown that the role of the father is especially vital to children’s development. One article from Uppsala University in Sweden noted that though active fatherhood reduces the frequency of behavioral and psychological problems in children, “current institutional policies in most countries do not support the increased involvement of fathers in child rearing.”

Societal pressures

Though more and more companies have “paternal leave” policies, dads face a lot of social pressure to be at the office all the time. Men are usually seen as the family’s primary providers, and some fathers may think that working long hours is the ideal way to be a father.

Click to the next page to read more about what keeps dads from being involved parents.

A lack of role models and community

This is largely due to a Dads who grew up without fathers who modeled active parenting are likely to mirror their own upbringing. Dads also have a lack of community support, as most parenting groups are geared towards mothers. Recently, however, more dads have been more outspoken about parenting their children, and we may be seeing more dad support groups sprouting up soon.


Photo: Fotolia

These are just some of the reasons why not more dads are taking on a more active role at home. According to this article entitled “The Importance of Dads,” these are other reasons that may be keeping dads from being more involved parents:

  • His biological history (such as mental illness, alcoholism, health)
  • His characteristics (employment, age, personality, etc.)
  • The mother’s characteristics
  • Contextual factors (relationship with the mother, community connections, etc.)
  • The child’s characteristics

However, these factors do not determine whether or not a man can be a good father. With the proper support, more fathers can step up to the challenge of being an involved parent.

READ: How a father’s psychological well-being affects a child

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