You’ve seen it plastered all over our website—“Moms are Everyday Heroes.” Here at ActivityHero, we are a company run mostly by moms, for moms to help them find the absolute best resources to help raise their child into being a smart, successful, healthy adult. Some of you have asked, what about dad? Well, fret not fathers, we have not forgotten about you.
Let’s start from the top—we believe that any parent who strives to give their children the absolute best is a hero, whether it be mom or dad. The reason that we gear our site toward moms is that they are, generally speaking, more likely to be the family planners and researchers. It’s in their nature; women take longer to make decisions, whether it be which color shoes to wear or which after-school activity best suits their child. This is in no way a strike at Dad—I know a handful of people who were raised by single dads and turned out to be amazingly successful and compassionate adults. There are plenty of Super Dads out there, and we welcome them with open arms!
Parents tend to dish out roles to one another without even knowing. Mom might be the rule enforcer while Dad is the problem solver, or vice vera. In many homes of single parents or military families, Mom or Dad might have to play the role of both parents. The point is that no two households are the same, just as no parents are the same, no kids are the same, and no situation is the same. That being said, we thought we’d take a few moments to thank Mom and Dad for doing what they do best, whatever it may be.
Mom, thank you for nurturing.
“Mothering has been associated with compassion and affection and particularly been attributed to women,” says Andrea O’Reilly in The Encyclopedia of Motherhood, Volume 1. Most mothers will report sharing a bond with children much earlier than fathers do. It makes sense; mothers can feel this person growing inside of them for 9 months. They are the protector from day one as they create a warm and safe environment to nurture their child in during gestation. That’s not to say that fathers can’t share this bond as well, but many feel that the first time they felt like a father was when they actually held their child in their arms. Mothers will often tell you that they felt it from the start. Because of this, moms tend to be more nurturing and have a deeper understanding and compassion for their children.
Dad, thanks for being fun.
Dad usually wins at play time. Mom’s activities tend to be more routine-based while Dad can come up with a spur-of-the-moment silly game or tickle fest that lights up the room. Men are more likely to get down on hands and knees and play or wrestle with the kids which is something that all kids, especially boys, need from time to time. Dad’s ability to come up with things on a whim often makes him more fun in the eyes of children as Mom tends to put too much thought and planning into her activities.
Mom, thank you for being the ultimate planner.
Women take longer to make decisions than men. Why do you think department stores have two and a half floors dedicated to women’s products and a measly corner of a floor for men? When women want something, they do their research; they want options and want to make sure that they are making the right choice. Men are more likely to act on impulse, it’s just how they work. Mom usually wins at planning the ultimate family fun day like a water park or a trip to the museum.
Thank you, Dad, for being the enforcer.
Mom can get angry and yell all she wants, but something about having to sick Dad on you is just downright scary. “Just wait until your father gets home,” might be the most frightening phrase a child can hear. Who knows what it is—the deeper voice, the (generally) more intimidating stature, or just the fact that you’ve managed to piss off both Mom and Dad at the same time; whatever it is, Dad wins at enforcing the rules.
Thanks, Mom, for always knows the right thing to say.
Women tend to speak straight from the heart and are more emotionally driven which is usually exactly what a child needs. Men think more logically and tend to navigate conversations toward a goal which works great in many other situations, but not when a child just needs someone to listen. Mom always seems to know what to say to ease a worried mind or solve a dilemma.
Dad, thank you for always knowing how to make us laugh.
Mom might know what to say, but Dad can always put a smile on your face. Whether it’s cracking a joke when you need a smile or just being his silly self, Dad has a way of lightening the heart and making everyone a little jollier. Dad is usually the first one to let out a belch or toot which usually gets a chuckle and can ease the tension in a room, no matter how stinky it may be.
Thanks for remembering, Mom.
I don’t know about all you other parents out there, but after I had my first child my memory went down the drain. I’ve left the keys in the car, in the door, in the mailbox, in the fridge (it was a long day) and most of the time can’t remember why I’ve walked into a room in the first place. One thing that Mom tends to have the upper hand at is remembering the important things—birthdays, appointments, etc. Men will surely agree with this, especially those that have felt the wrath of forgetting an anniversary. Mom doesn’t disappoint with the important dates, even if she does forget about the pot of boiling water on the stove from time to time.
Thanks for supporting us, Dad.
Before I go into this topic, let me clarify that most households nowadays share financial burdens and require both parents to work to support the household. Remember, this written in a “generally speaking” manner. Traditionally, fathers have been known as the breadwinners while mothers are the homemakers. This may seem like an ancient concept to many, but it was a way of life for centuries. Let’s face it—women do not have the same opportunities in the working world that men do. Even with the huge strides that have been made over time, there is still a long way to go until women and men are treated equally in the work place. That’s why generally men are the workers and women are the homemakers.
No two homes are the same, that’s what keeps life interesting and fun. No matter who fills the roles in your house, we thank you for being super every day!
Written by Sarah Antrim
About ActivityHero Team
The ActivityHero Team is based in California and includes staff members and bloggers who love to share what they know about parenting, keeping kids active, choosing just the right camps and classes, and running successful businesses for kids.
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There has almost always been a strong emphasis on mother-child relationship on the child’s overall development and growth in interpersonal relationships. This is because most of the early research was focused on the bond between mother and child. It was also based on the concept that women have the genetic gift for providing maternal love and care and everything the child needs for a healthy growth and development. It cannot be denied that women have rightfully been seen to be the major contributor to a child’s development. However, assigning the role fully to the mother is a sign of incomplete understanding of the psychological needs of a child.
Fatherhood too has an important role to play in the growth and development of a child. Here we will explore the importance of both fatherhood and motherhood and why the emphasis shouldn’t be tilted so heavily in one’s favor.
Significance of Motherhood
Motherhood has rightly been seen as the more important of the two aspects of parenthood. Women have both the physical and emotional endowment to bring life into this world and to ensure the overall well-being of the child. Her contribution to parenting cannot be removed from her gender. It is certainly due to her femininity that a woman contributes something better and richer to her child. The vast amount of evidence related to the psychological requirements for bringing up a child show how significant motherhood is in the lives of children. Her importance cannot be replaced by anything, including fathers.
Significance of Fatherhood
Motherhood may contribute in a bigger way to the development of a child, but that doesn’t mean that fatherhood can be eliminated from the overall development phase of a child. There is a lot of similarity between fatherhood and motherhood in terms of the shared human nature between man and woman. However, these similarities don’t negate the big differences. When the objective is to have fully-developed and healthy children, both mothers and fathers should be part of a child’s growth process.
The influence of fatherhood on children at the psychological level has been found to be distinctive and irreplaceable. In fact, as the importance of fatherhood was realized at a progressive rate over time, its concept has undergone shifts at different levels. There was the strictly patriarchal system, followed by breadwinner concept to the friendly playmate to eventually the co-parent concept.
In fact, the scientific community, before 1960s, believed that fatherhood was comparatively unimportant to the overall development of the child. Modern behavioral scientists, when they began studying the role of fatherhood, found that fathers could be as capable as mothers when it comes to being an effectively nurturing caregiver. It was also found that the bond between father and child can be almost as strong and influencing as between mother and child, at the emotional level.
Importance of Father’s Love
Father’s love influences a child’s development at a much deeper level than it has been believed to in the general perception. In fact, lack of it has been found to cause a wide range of developmental and psychological problems in children. This includes behavioral problems, adjustment problems, cognitive abilities, and even gender-role realization. Modern scientists have come to the conclusion that there are two aspects of fatherhood that have the biggest involvement in the child’s overall development. The first one is the warmth of the father-child relation and the second aspect is how involved the father is.
The level of involvement from the father includes factors like how much time he spends with the child, how much they make themselves available, and how much of the responsibility they take over themselves in the welfare and care of the child. All these factors contribute to the overall quality of fatherhood. This quality of the relationship between the father and the child is what makes the biggest difference.
Relation between Lack of Father’s Love and Psychological Well Being
Many studies comparing fatherhood and motherhood have found that father love has a bigger impact on the child’s psychological well being. It has been found that there is a deeper negative impact, often leading to aggression against peers, when there is lack of warmth from the father. Studies have also shown that depressed or offending young individuals were affected more deeply when they felt rejected by the father than their mother. Even important emotional and psychological consequences like distress, satisfaction with life and happiness was found to have higher impact from father-child closeness than from mother-child closeness. This was found both in the case of male and female children.
The level of impact fatherhood plays in a child’s life has been found to be much deeper than ever thought before. Studies show that the impact of father-child relationship warmth is so deep that it has big influence on a teenager’s perception and response towards some of the most important social aspects of life including roles of sex, marriage, and divorce. In fact, the impact of father’s warmth is also significant on childbearing in teenage years.
One reason scientists believe why father’s love and care contributes in a unique way is that they can engage in multi-faced interactions with their child compared to mothers. They are also more likely to inspire the child to become competitive, independent and open to risk taking.
Even today there is a strong belief that motherhood plays the most important role in the development of a child. The fact is that both motherhood and fatherhood are crucial to the proper development of the child. If the modern studies by scientists are to be believed, any lack in father’s love and contribution to the parent-child relation can have more serious consequences than similar shortages in the mother-child relationship.
If anyone wants to bring up healthy child who is developed in all aspects of social, emotional and psychological factors, equal emphasis should be laid on quality fatherhood and motherhood. The influence of father’s love and care is independent of the child’s gender. The importance of father-child relationship is equally important to both sons and daughters.
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