It’s one body blow after another for us men. In a triple whammy of killer research findings, boffins with white coats and newly fashionable thick-rimmed glasses have announced:
So this chap‘s written a veritable War & Peace in praise of all the work his wife does, looking after the kids. He’s put a monetary value against it, and concluded that his job as a lawyer doesn’t measure up in terms of effort or value.
His motives seem straightforward enough: she deserves greater appreciation than she gets. But the comments say it all, as SAHMs, SAHDs, working mums and people-who-were-once-a-child-you-know clamour to get in on the action. [Read more…]
This one came our way today: The problem with bright girls, on Psychology Today. The basic premise is that women struggle for parity in the workplace because they are brought up being praised as individuals (“Good girl!”); they believe that talent is innate and fixed, so if they find something tricky, it’s because they don’t have it in them. [Read more…]
How important are dads? What difference does it make to children if they have a good dad, and what does being ‘good’ mean, anyway?
That was the general thrust behind an interesting meta-analysis (PDF) by The Fathering Project – an Australian organisation, but don’t let that put you off. (Tech check: this site can only be seen by Brits, can’t it?)
It’s interesting because firstly it steers clear of the stories you’ll see most often in your Daily Express: bad dads that misshape the lives of their children. And secondly because it’s specific about what children of good fathers stand to gain, including self-regulation learned through play in the early years, increased social confidence for teenagers, fewer problems at school and a reduced susceptibility to mental health issues or being bullied.
As an aside, it’s worth noting from the child’s perspective that all this can be provided by a father or a father figure; the important bit is that there is a readily available chap who’s prepared to step up and get involved.
With all that and more at stake, you’ll be gagging to know the recipe for good fathering. In fact, we’ve already told you: did you miss it? The headline word is ‘involved’. Being a good dad in both the quality and quantity of time you give, demonstrating love, encouragement, affection, acceptance, patience, consistency, sensitivity… the list goes on, we’re afraid.
If you’re looking for more tangible nuggets of advice, the project offers weekly tips by email. These are a little straight-laced for our taste – “Don’t miss evening events at school”, “Teach girls to only accept respect from men” – but we’d probably all be better dads if we did as instructed. What’s more, they drop into your inbox on a Monday morning, just as your workload for the week ahead is becoming all too apparent. Perhaps that’s the point they’re trying to make.