Before you start reading this, erase any notion that you may or may not have about the roles of ‘Father’ and ‘Mother’ in a household when it comes to your kid’s development.
I am sure there are numerous studies out there, but I came across one that was performed by Michigan State University, regarding the impact a Father has on a child’s early development. Honestly, I was shocked at first, but looking back on my own childhood I can relate to the evidence found by the study.
The research involving 730 families led to a few interesting conclusions. The purpose of the study was to investigate how and if a parents’ stress or mental health problems were impacting their child’s early development, specifically the ages 2 to 3.
Was a mother’s stress or mental health problems more impactful than a father? I mean, mothers are typically around the kids for longer periods of time, while fathers are at work, on business trips etc. Now, I am not discrediting mothers at all and I am sure there are numerous ones out there that are running their own businesses, traveling and are rarely home as well.
It was found that in fact, a FATHERS parenting-related stress had a much larger impact and was more harmful to a kids cognitive and language development regardless of the mother’s influence. Both parents’ mental states played a similar effect on a toddler’s behavioral development. However, the father’s depression symptoms carried far more weight when it came to the child’s later social skill development.
After reading this I took a step back and thought about how I have gone about dealing with my stress in life. Was I was bringing that home with me…? which I know I am. Exercise, specifically lifting weights and pushing my body beyond its limits has been my sole stress reducer for much of my life the past few years. It is still a great means for me to relieve the stress, feel good about myself etc. I’ve come to realize that it isn’t enough anymore, and I need to find some other means of reducing it.
What are some activities or means by which you go about reducing your stress from life? What types of things allow you to walk in the door after a long, hard day and not worry about anything?
Feel free to share/comment below.