Fatherhood, Parenting

Hey, Single Moms–Dads Are Important

dads are very important

Dear Mr. Dad: My best friend really wants to be a mother, but has given up on finding “Mr. Right,” and has decided to have and raise a baby on her own. I’ve been following your work for a long time and have been telling her how important it is for babies to have male influences in their life. She says that dads don’t contribute anything to kids’ development and that her baby will be fine without one. I know I’m right, but what can I do to convince her?

A: You are, indeed, absolutely right. But I’m continually amazed at how many people share your friend’s absurd belief that dads aren’t important. As we’ve talked about a lot in these columns, fathers influence their children’s life as early as pregnancy, if not before. In other words, a man’s behavior and choices affect the quality of his sperm, which, in turn, can influence his future child’s physical and mental health.

Unfortunately, the majority of research on attachment, bonding, and child development still focuses exclusively on mothers. But the slowly growing number of studies that include men have confirmed what I’ve been saying for two decades—and what most observant parents already know: Fathers influence their children just as much as mothers do—and in many cases, even more.

Let me give you just a few examples. The more actively involved dads are with their infants—doing basic baby care, feeding, changing diapers, bathing, dressing, and so on—the better they handle stressful situations, such as being left with a stranger.

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Author: Armin Brott

Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men’s health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, mrdad.com. You can also connect via social media: Facebook.com/mrdad, @mrdad, pinterest.com/mrdad, linkedin.com/in/mrdad, plus.google.com/+mrdad.

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