5 Things Dads Give Their Kids That Moms (Unfortunately) Cannot


Sorry, moms! There are just some things that only fathers can teach their children.

Struggling in your relationships? Lacking confidence? You may just have daddy issues.

Parenting advice expert Noel Janis-Norton makes a case for dads in a recent article by stating, "Mothers need to allow dads to be dads and to have their own relationship with their children—and in particular with their boys." She goes on to talk about some of the things that dads bring to the table that are key to helping boys become "well adjusted young men."

While acknowledging the importance of a male's role in the healthy development of a child doesn't diminish the mother's role, it does suggest that there are certain things moms just can't provide for their little boys or girls.

They include the following:

1. A positive image of masculinity. Society is replete with images and ideals of what it means to be masculine. Many of these have to do with physical strength and dominance. When children have father figures in their lives, they are able to see the character traits that "make the man," so to speak. Men have the opportunity to show their children that masculinity can be kind, loving, and gentle.

2. Confidence. While women can offer a level of confidence to their children, a father can provide confidence to them in unique ways:

  • Confidence to do. Male children who are socialized to a traditional male gender role are emulating the image of masculinity that they see from male role models like a father figure. They essentially learn how a male responds in a given situation and they have confidence to act because they've seen what to do.   
  • Confidence to be. The confidence that a father figure helps to solidify in a female child is somewhat different. Dr. Gabriella Kortsch says it best when she states, "a little girl needs to see herself reflected in the love she sees for herself in her father's eyes." This statement suggests that a female child develops her self-esteem from how her father views her.  

3. Male leadership. "He just won't take initiative" is a complaint I've heard from countless women regarding their spouse. These women feel as though they have to "take the lead" in virtually every aspect of their marital relationship. Well, guess who's watching and absorbing the lesson of male passivity? Men's health blogger and author, John Lee, describes male passivity as a "learned behavior," and who better to learn this behavior than the very impressionable minds of young children?

4. Security. The literature is extensive about the positive impact that being raised in a two-parent household has on a child. Not only do children experience a sense of emotional security and wellbeing, but according to some literature, children tend to be more physically secure and safe when reared in environment where the family is intact.

5. A positive image of love from a man. Both male and female children benefit from witnessing and experiencing positive examples of love and affection from their dads. They, in turn, have positive relationships with peers and romantic partners. Once again, what they see and experience serves as a representation for what they are supposed to do and expect in the real world.

Are you seeking to have a better understanding of your relationship with your father and other men in your life? Consider exploring these very critical relationships with a trained therapist in your local area. Dr. Renita Gabriel is a licensed psychologist who provides individual and family therapy in Maryland.  You can learn more about Dr. Gabriel at her website at www.breakthroughspsycservices.com.


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