While some studies examine how a mother interacts with her child and how it affects her, there are fewer studies that examine how a father’s relationship impacts on his children.
Relationships in general help teens to develop emotionally, and while this relationship does include friends in school and others outside, the most important relationships for a child to grow up emotionally are those of his home, specifically with his parents.
The study, conducted at Penn’s State Prevention Research Center, looked at 687 families over three years and looked at how each child’s relationship with their father and mother affected them. . Each family studied was composed of a father, a mother and a child.
As expected, the general climate of the home and the rejection of the mother and father had a negative impact on the quality of peer friendships and increased loneliness. However, researchers did not expect children who felt the father’s rejection to have more social anxiety than others.
Social anxiety is centered on the fear of being rejected or judged by others. This prevents those who suffer from it from pursuing relationships because they are so afraid of what might happen if they try to connect with others that they do not bother to try.
This leads to an increase in loneliness when the child becomes more isolated, which can also cause depression.
This study shows even more clearly that a substantial family bond is vital for children to be emotionally healthy and that fathers play a particularly active role. Fortunately, there are some things that fathers (and mothers) can do to help their teens develop emotionally.
Empathy is the first and most important part of fostering a positive relationship with your children. Empathizing with your child means not punishing him directly for negative behavior, but first try to understand why your child is acting that way.
Your child needs to know that his voice is heard and that his parents are trying to understand it.
Taking time is another essential aspect of developing a good relationship with your children. Turn off the phone, tablet and TV and spend time interacting together. Find something that you and your child like, and make it a priority. Your child must know that he is your priority.
Help your child solve his problems. It is essential that children learn to be independent and begin to learn how to solve their problems, but that does not mean that they have to be left to fend for themselves. Instead, you need to provide wisdom and insight and work with them to guide them to a solution rather than just telling them what to do. Sometimes it means letting them make the wrong choice and being there to love and support them when everything collapses.
Communication is the ultimate key to developing healthy relationships with your children. As a teenager, your role as a parent begins to change as your child grows up and you need to be ready to talk about any problems that arise. Keep communication open with your children so they can freely share their dreams and frustrations with you.
By recognizing the importance of the bond between fathers and children and taking steps to improve this relationship, parents can help their child through these difficult years and give him an excellent emotional base for the rest of his life.