Fathers are key to toddler development

DIYFather.com

DIYFather.com was brought into this world by Wellington-based dads Scott Lancaster, Eric Mooij and Stefan Korn who recognised the need for a dedicated website for fathers. Based on their own experiences of struggling to find useful parenting related information specifically aimed at dads they created DIYFather.com

Many involved fathers have known for a long time what a recent study from the university of Montreal has just proven: Dads' involvement with children from day one is essential. This particular study shows that "exploration behaviour" of toddlers is activated by fathers. Details are below but the last sentence of the article pretty much sums it up for me: "... fathers provide something different to the child who will benefit greatly from this singular contribution." Go DADS!

Details of the study published by esciencenews.com
A new study has found that fathers give toddlers more leeway and that allows them to actively explore their environments, according to a new study on parent-child attachment published in Early Child Development and Care. Daniel Paquette, a professor at the Université de Montréal School of Psychoeducation, says the 'activation theory' is just as important as the 'attachment theory.' The latter was the prevailing 20th-Century notion that children usually connect with their primary caregiver since they fulfill their emotional needs and guarantee their survival.

"In attachment theory, a child seeks comfort from a parent when he or she is insecure. This theory underestimates the importance of exploratory behavior in children," says Dr. Paquette, who completed his study with Marc Bigras of the Université du Québec à Montréal.

As part of the investigations, kids aged 12 to 18 months (accompanied by a parent) were placed in three different risky situations: social risk (a strange adult entered his or her environment), physical risk (toys were placed at the top of a stairway), and a forbidden activity (parents were forbidden to climb the stairs after the child succeeded the first time).

"We found fathers are more inclined than mothers to activate exploratory behavior by being less protective," says Paquette. "The less the parent is protective, the more activated is the exploratory behavior in the child. Children who were optimally stimulated, meaning they were exploratory yet respective of the rules, were 71 percent boys. Meanwhile, 70 percent of children who were risk averse were girls."

The parent's behavior was measured by the distance they kept from their child as he or she climbed the stairs. "For a child to become self-confident, the parent mustn't be too far or too close," says Paquette. "The ideal distance seems to be an arm's length. This distance was statistically significant with fathers yet not with mothers."

According to Paquette, classical attachment theory doesn't highlight these differences between boys and girls. This is why he feels his theory is better adapted to evaluate the role of the father while factoring in the temperament of the child and the level of protective parenting, both of which trigger the activation relationship.

Paquette is convinced that mothers and fathers intervene differently in the education of a child and these complementarities benefit a child. "Even if both parents change diapers and give the bottle, they don't do it the same way," says Paquette. "By stimulating exploration, controlled risk-taking and competition, fathers provide something different to the child who will benefit greatly from this singular contribution."

 
Sort by
  • Bobby says
    It seems like fathers are starting to open up more to their child's life. It's a lifestyle thing anyhow, a father working full time or abroad isn't going to spend as much of that quality time with their toddler as they should.
  • A guy says
    The trials and tests are good. Talking about what they are doing while there doing it like if they are playing with a ball say something like a ball etc, like interactive talking to get them to grasp thier language with the surroundings and have what their doing become more familier with words. Just sayin nothin and lettin them do is good too. And not letting yourself become too overcome with stresses etc is a better environment 4 both, if you feel too brain stung one way try do something more relaxing or fun that can be benificial just doin somethin simple is good but alot of kids just grab and do. But a good challenge is usually good fun if not strait away but in the long run and as the say'n goes a little patience goes a long way. see ya.

Post your comment

Want to have your say?

It's quick, easy and 100% free.

  •  

Features

Endorsed Events

  • SpringBreak FIJI SpringBreak FIJI

    Surrounded by nothing but tranquil water, SpringBreak Fiji brings together the best of everything

  • The Fijian Cup The Fijian Cup

    The Pacific Touch Rugby festival (Fijian Cup and Kava Cup) is underway on November 2, 2017 and with support from Touch Fiji and...

  • Auckland Coffee Festival Auckland Coffee Festival

    Join us as we celebrate our latte lifestyle.

  • Rock Island FIJI Rock Island FIJI

    Jim Beam Rock Island is an all inclusive fully immersive travel experience which was brought into the music festival scene by Jim...