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Tips On How You Can Have A Better Relationship With Your Dad

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The relationship that we have with our dads can be quite complicated at times, especially if you’re a boy. Unlike what many people think, sons don’t always get along with their fathers. Do you know why? It’s because we don’t regularly share the same interests and opinions with them.  And this difference often causes communication problems which can further damage or strain the already rocky relationship.

“[T]he relationship between father and child can have a significant impact on the child’s tendencies toward depression and behavior problems,” says Rick Nauert, PhD.

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Things We Should Tell Our Dads More Often

Not all fathers are the same, that’s a given fact.  However, for those who are doing an excellent job at being a Dad, it is our duty as their children to thank them for it. Because without them we won’t be here, that’s why. No seriously, we need to give them more credit for the things they have done and are still doing for us. They won’t be here forever, that’s why we need to start showing them how much they mean to us.

 

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Reasons Why You Should Never Physically Punish Your Child

 

 

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Parents are always responsible for their kid’s actions, and as much as they want them to learn new things in life, there will invariably be a time when kids will eventually commit mistakes. As a father, I used to hit my child as a way of informing him that what he did was wrong and it was punishable. As a parent, I thought I should be in control of every situation. I administered physical abuse following my anger. It became a routine that spanking was a necessity for my disciplinary practice. Little did I know that it was the worst part of my parenting method because it created a lasting harmful effect on my child’s overall development.

“Physical punishment elicits precisely the negative affects one does not want in parent-child relationships and in socializing children: distress, anger, fear, shame, and disgust.” Paul C Holinger M.D. explains.

Justifying The Act

Spanking (or also known as corporal punishment) enables a child’s brain to react alarmingly so they can respond to the process accordingly. In other words, when you hit a child, part of his brain (prefrontal cortex) shuts down the center of their reasoning and judgment and only reacts to ridiculous fear. “According to attachment theory, important parts of the child’s brain are highly activated under conditions of threat (e.g., separation, physical assault). Spanking is a condition of threat.” Gail Goodman, Ph.D. says. It seems to work in some cases and scenarios because children then understand the concept of right and wrong. It gives us parents the ability to impose unbreakable rules that teach children to follow consequently.

 

The Result In Children At Early Stage

Physical punishment on a child can inflict more serious harm that parents often ignore. The kid becomes more aggressive and withdrawn, and that initially endangers his mental and psychological health. It affects the child’s emotional entitlement and loses his self-worth. He becomes distant and secretive and sometimes eventually ends up with lying just to get away with the punishment. A child grows more insensitive and finds it hard to trust people around him. He may use his traumatic experience to devalue his worth.

 

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The Result In The Adolescent Stage

Spanking is considered physical abuse and the more we continue to practice it, the more it promotes anger on our child. He may end up realizing that physical violence is normal and is not something to address. He will likely use it as a mode of interaction with his peers and validate the action for a personal reason. The child will eventually show severe psychological drawbacks from spanking where they’ll turn out to become egocentric and antisocial.

 

The Adulthood Aftermath

When a child experienced physical abuse at an early stage and continued to receive punishment in the adolescent years, he will (most likely) develop violent behaviors until his adulthood. He will become short-tempered. He will have a mindset that physical abuse is normal and use it to attain dominance in the house. He will have problems dealing with anger management that can eventually result in domestic violence. According to Jessica Kendorski, Ph.D., “Brain science is showing us that warmth and nurture are essential to brain development.”

 

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As I observed, my kid grew up and became the person I didn’t expect him to become. I blamed myself for every physical abuse I made in the past. It was not worth it. It didn’t help me in any way. I thought I was currently doing the right thing but the violence I imprinted on his physical, emotional, and mental health was beyond a parental sin. Spanking doesn’t work in promoting good behavior. Instead, it creates another generation of abusive parents that damage their child’s well-being.

 



Growing Up Without A Father: The Passive Outcome

A father is one of the significant factors that make a home complete. Without him, the whole aspect of a child’s healthy development can encounter complications. The importance of their role is inevitable because they are a contributor to a child’s overall well-being. It is the father’s responsibility to be there for his kid and support his psychological functions. Without him, a fatherless child will intensely suffer in both emotional and mental states.

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Significance Of A Father’s Influence

While almost anyone can make a baby and create a life, not everyone can take the role of a father and stick around in a child’s life. Just like mothers, fathers’ roles are vital in the development of a child’s emotional and mental well-being.

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According to Dr. David Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project, fathers are far more than just “second adults” in the home. Biological fathers who are more involved with their children provide care and benefits that no other person can offer. They are the ones who extend protection and act as an ideal male role model for their children.

Influence Of A Father To A Child’s Development

  1. Cognitive Development

Fathers who are more hands-on to their children’s academic and learning process administer a sense of well-being and self-confidence. For example, children with fathers who have a better educational background tend to do better in school. Communication between a father and a child also results in a more expansive vocabulary and more complex language skills.

Fathers are also more likely to challenge their children to try new things. When faced with this, children tend to believe in their capabilities to tackle difficult situations. “We found that fathers who are involved with their children have children with fewer problems,” says Maureen Black, PhD.

  1. Emotional And Social Development
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How a father treats their children influence their social and emotional development. Children might adopt the way their father talks to them and treats them. “Our first attachment patterns shape our expectations for future attachments.” explains Jennifer Kromberg PsyD. “So a woman’s early relationship with dad, who is usually the first male object of her love, shapes her conscious and unconscious perceptions of what she can expect and what is acceptable in a romantic partner (for heterosexual women).” Fathers who engage with their child’s hobbies and interests results in a socially competent personality. At the same time, these children are most likely to have a better ability to build friendships and control their emotions.

Children with involved fathers can improve how they tolerate stress and frustration, are better at problem-solving and have better control over their impulses. According to Ditta M. Oliker Ph.D. “The influence of a father’s involvement extends into adolescence and young adulthood.”

  1. Mother–Father Relationship
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A father’s influence does not stop with how they treat their children. How a husband treats his wife dramatically affects his relationship with his children too. When both are in a peaceful, healthy marriage, fathers are probably more involved in childcare responsibilities and have better relationships with their kids. Men who are committed to their marriages are usually committed to everything that goes with it, especially children.

Ways In Which Fathers Can Show Their Influence

  • Communication
  • Education
  • Observation
  • Engaging in thought processes
  • Ability to provide
  • Affection
  • Protection
  • Emotional support
  • Love language
  • Engaging in their child’s activities/hobbies
  • Simply being available

Not all fathers can commit to the level of involvement they’d like to have. Despite life circumstances, challenging situations, or other factors, fathers can still provide a positive and nurturing influence in their children’s lives with proper support and understanding.

Both fathers and mothers have different styles of parenting. It makes the role of the fathers as crucial as that of the mothers because they can provide a feeling of security, both physically and emotionally.

In a more general sense, fathers need to understand that their kids are always watching them and whatever action they take matters. Being a good father is not only about being present but also genuinely caring for his children and inculcating good behavior in them.



A Father’s Importance To Her Daughter

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There’s an incomprehensible responsibility when we talk about father and daughter relationship. It is more of a commitment to what benefits one person rather than the other. It has something to do with the unconditional love and care that corresponds with fear and worries. It sets inseparable boundaries to a specific father-daughter relationship.

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Why Online Safety Is Important For Your Kids

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The age of social media has made a lot of positive changes in our society. It has resulted in more convenient connections, better entertainment source, and a new platform to express our thoughts. The Internet is a great place to talk to friends, play games, or even learn.

On the flip side, several risks come with being active on the Internet. Nowadays, online predators or cyberbullies are lurking behind every social media site. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to spot them.  To make it worse, they target those who are vulnerable enough to lure—our kids.

As dads, we can help our kids stay safe. We can do this by introducing them to proper Internet use and online dangers so that they can start using it wisely, even at a young age.

Online safety came alongside the rise of social media. Some people throw around the term loosely, but what this means is freely allowing our kids to use the Internet while keeping them safe from harm.

Parents must find the right balance between ensuring safety and letting kids explore the resources the Internet has. Keeping them safe can mean a lot of ways like adequately informing them of Internet risks while also highlighting its benefits. As dads, we face the responsibility of teaching them about both the real world and the online world. Below are some useful tips dads can use for online safety.

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Remind Them What They Can And Can’t Do

Don’t wait until something terrible happens to them. Before they even start using the Internet, set ground rules so that they know what to expect. Be careful not to make them feel like you are too strict; this might cause them to rebel more. To avoid this, ensure that you are clear about why you are setting each rule.

Only Let Them Add Connections They Know In Person

Teach them that social media is not a contest of friends and likes. Caution them against adding people they don’t know since it’s easy to impersonate anyone on social media. “Children today need to be instructed that strangers can be online as well. What’s really baffling and dangerous about online strangers is that the really good ones can pretend to be someone that the child knows.” Dr. Samuel McQuade, Ph.D. emphasizes.

Keep Personal Information Private

Kids tend to update everything on social media—from where they live and where they study to where they currently are. Let them know that it’s easy to track people based on their social media activities. Also, double-check if their profiles are secured and private. “A monitoring program can help you see where your kids are, especially if kids have friends that are questionable, and they’re entering chat rooms and on Facebook all the time.” Gwenn O’Keeffe, M.D. explains.

Ask Them To Add You To Their Connections

Kids might hate having their parents as their friends at first. Slowly coax them into the idea of trusting you enough to let you in on their online world. With this, it’s easier to ensure their safety by monitoring their activities. “Parents should be aware of what their kids see and hear on the Internet, who they meet, and what they share about themselves.” says Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, M.D.

Let Them Confide In You

Should your kid feel the slightest discomfort on the Internet, they should go to you for help. Try not to shut them down by saying, “I told you so.” Instead, use the situation as a learning point about avoiding dangers on the Internet next time.

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Of course, all these won’t work if dads themselves don’t serve as a role model for their kids. Before anything else, learn as much as you can about the Internet too. Be extra mindful of your social media activities, especially if you have your kids included in your connection. Don’t give them a reason not to believe your own rules. So, for both dad and kids, use the Internet wisely!



Is It Okay For Fathers To Be Emotional?

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When we were kids, we all remember one common thing when we scrape our knees, feel a fever coming, or come across a bully at school: we all go to our mothers. Regardless of our gender, we automatically look for our mothers in situations wherein we need comfort.

It is the way it is because, admittedly, we do not expect fathers to be the emotional one in the family. We usually assume that trait from our mothers while the disciplinarian role is taken on by fathers. For a lot of families, this setup has worked with no problem. After all, we are pre-dispositioned to think and feel that way. But maybe it is also time to finally re-think that.

How Gender Roles Affect Parenting

Men and women communicate and feel things quite differently because of how we were brought up as children. Women are more expressive while men, on the other hand, prefer to keep things passive and brunt.

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Gender arrangements have made it hard for men to adopt the same emotional connection of women because it was severely perceived to be associated with “womanly” things. Even down to family units, this thought had been carried on.

“It is often viewed that it is not okay for boys and men to express or discuss their emotions,” wrote Erlanger A. Turner, PhD.

It is not necessarily a bad thing; it does, however, pose a few issues when it comes to the relationship dynamics with kids. Mainly, kids find themselves too afraid to open up to their dads, and dads feel disconnected from the lives of their kids in return. Even when they do want to be more emotional, they find it hard since they value being a disciplinarian more.

“One-on-one time is the foundation of social-emotional development. In a family we all have roles, but one-on-one we get to be who we are,” says John C. Panepinto, PsyD, LPCS, NCC.

Impact Of Nurturing Fathers

On the contrary, nurturing fathers might be more needed. It helps the family in a variety of ways.

One, it makes children more comfortable with their parents. At an early age, boys are taught to handle emotions wisely, while young girls find security in interacting and confiding in men.

Two, it helps dads to be more engaged with fatherhood. Getting in touch with their emotional side allows them to build a connection with their kids on a deeper level. Additionally, they also tap personal feelings they have never processed before. “They are personally engaged in their children’s lives, interests, dreams and aspirations on a daily basis,” says Athena Staik, PhD.

Third, being more nurturing towards their kids and families fosters a healthy environment where couples can grow in maturity alongside their kids.

However, in truth, it is easier said than done. When you are so used to being uptight and passive with your kids, it is hard to transition into the other side. Nevertheless, in the pursuit to be more nurturing, fathers must first understand and make sense of their own emotions. With that personal understanding, they can slowly start to project this same understanding to their kids. Just like with other things, cultivating this new relationship with kids requires enough time with them—and the right kind of quality time for that matter.

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Fatherhood is a journey of constant learning, and keeping this in mind, we can start raising kids who are more emotionally healthy and happy. Cheers to fathers everywhere!



4 Practical Hobbies For The “Cool” Dad

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Parenting in this century is much more flexible and forgiving. Gone are the days where it’s only women who are expected to be stay-at-home moms for their kids. We’re beginning to see the rise of proud fathers taking on the challenge of being full-time parents. Perhaps their wife is working, or they’re just single dads braving the tides.

With great responsibility comes even greater stress. So for the new dads, single dads, or just dads with time to kill at home, here are some hobbies you can get into so that you don’t lose touch with yourself.

Cooking

Today, both men and women already belong in the kitchen. Surprisingly enough, a lot of men cook better than any of us expect.

Cooking is a great indoor hobby and an incredible therapy-like activity that doesn’t require a lot of pennies to be spent. It’s also a more economical option rather than eating out daily. Plus, the best thing is squeezing in that extra family time while simultaneously syncing with yourself.

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Treat your wife and your kids (or just yourself) to some hearty home-cooked meal as you get in touch with your inner chef. Visit the grocery, play around with recipes online, and cook your heart out!

Blogging

The digital age has made connecting with everyone easier. In a way, it has replaced magazines, newspapers, and even books. With that, family blogs are a popular source of lifestyle content for budding families as well as those just looking for tips and motivation. Why not document all your experiences into writing? It can be something as quick and simple as writing a Facebook post on a daily. Not only will you get to share your experiences with your fellow dads, but it will also help alleviate stress from fatherhood.  Who knows, you might be the next model dad!

Exercise

Being a father certainly takes a toll on your time, but it shouldn’t be a reason for you to forget about your health. Exercising releases a lot of endorphins (or happy hormones) that might be what dads need after a long, tiring week of chores and sleepless nights. Revisit your old days by hitting the gym, running, biking, lifting, or engaging in whatever physical activity it is that you’re most comfortable with. You’ll be surprised by how a 10-minute exercise can kick-start your day. Healthy body, happy daddy!

Sports

Similar to exercising, getting into sports is also a fool-proof way to kill time. Hold on: this doesn’t include video games, however.

Get out there, dribble a basketball, hold a badminton racket, or kick a soccer ball if you will. Nowadays, it’s easy to join in local clubs or sports groups near your area. Try to check out your gym too if they offer similar programs. If all goes well, you can even let your kids join you in the future.

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Fatherhood doesn’t have to be all stress, and your hobbies don’t have to break the bank too. Just as being a good dad is important, maintaining a healthy physical, mental, and emotional disposition is equally needed. It keeps dads happy, passionate, and present for their family. Don’t fret; with the hobbies we’ve just recommended, you’re sure to get the balance between me-time and family-time and become the “cool dad” you are.



How To Manage Stress For Better Mental Health

Psychology defines stress as being under heavy pressure. Said pressure can be very different for each person, and different people may have a different perspective on these pressures. Whether it has a typical or a unique source or trigger, it is essential to remember that stress is stress. It can directly impact your mental health, so it is vital to learn how to manage it.

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There are several means on how you can manage your stress. One of the best ways to manage stress is to avoid it in the first place. Stay away from the things that bring you stress—be it people, things, places, situations, or anything else. But sometimes, keeping yourself away from these stress activators can be unavoidable. Certain circumstances may make us unable to evade stress and put us under pressure. Here are five ways on how you can manage stress for better mental health.

Get Physical

Indulging in physical activities can help manage your stress. One of the best physical activity that helps in stress management is exercise. Living a lifestyle with an active exercise routine can immensely help not only your physical well-being but also your mental well-being. According to Michael Otto, Ph.D, a professor of psychology at Boston University, “The link between exercise and mood is pretty strong.Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect.”

There is a lot of exercises you can try—be it indoor or outdoor. Find the perfect workout routine for you to get your blood running and help manage your stress. Do not forget that eating healthy goes hand in hand with maintaining a workout routine. Just like exercising, eating healthy also has beneficial effects on your mental health.

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Start A New Hobby

Challenge your brain by trying out something you have never done before. Hobbies are an effective way to relax and unwind your mind. Stimulating your mind with hobbies can help in improving brain functions and lead to overall better mental health. There are also a variety of hobbies you can choose from—gardening, writing, reading, painting, and more. You can also try out hobbies that will increase your social interaction such as volunteering, joining a club, and getting into your local choir, among others. Search for the hobby that is a perfect fit for your interests. If you’ve ever lost yourself in a sport, art project, or other challenging, absorbing activity, you’ve experienced flow. Time flies, self-consciousness disappears, and you are fully immersed in the activity at hand. Hobbies, especially those that stretch our skills, foster this desirable and increasingly elusive state,” explains Jaime L.Kurtz, Ph.D.

Be With Nature

Sometimes all the noise and pollution can be the cause of your stress. One great way to de-stress from your stressful environment is by going away from it and being with nature.

As explained by  Mardie Townsend, PhD, an honorary professor at the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University in Australia,“there is mounting evidence that contact with nature has significant positive impacts on mental health. “It is associated with reduced levels of stress — which also has huge ramifications for physical health, reduced levels of depression and anxiety, increased resilience, increased engagement with learning for children and adolescents otherwise disengaged from the education system, improved self-esteem and increased capacity to engage socially.” 

You can visit an eco-park and go cycling or take a long walk. Relax and unwind by taking time off the stressful environment you are in. The peace you can find from nature can be a great help in reducing your stress. Exposure to outdoor landscapes can reduce negative feelings, such as anger and fear. It can also lead you to better physical well-being.

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Have A Relaxation Routine

If you don’t have the time to be with nature or are unable to, another great way to manage stress is to have your relaxation routine. It can be in the form of yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation, among others. These activities can significantly help in reducing your stress and put you in a relaxed state. Being under stress can cause your body to tense. Having a relaxation routine you can do anytime and anywhere is an effective way to relieve your body of stress immediately.

Stay In Touch

Having meaningful connections with people is vital for a healthy state of mind. We are social beings, after all. Being with people who affect your life positively is very beneficial. Keeping in touch with your family and friends can help de-stress you after a long day. Keep in mind that these people are your support group, and they will be there for you in difficult times.

You can also try socializing with new people. You don’t have to aim for developing a deep friendship immediately. You can try simple socializing such as smiling at other people, having a short conversation with the person next to you, or having friendly banter with the cashier.

Have A Me Time Or No Kids Hour

Being a parent can be stressful. Taking care of your kids 24/7 can take a toll on your mental health. That is why you need to have me time or time alone with your partner without the kids. You deserve a break and your partner probably misses you more than you ever know. Take time off for a date night or just chilling on the couch without the kids.

These are just six out of countless ways you can practice to manage your stress. When putting these tips into action, keep in mind consistency is critical. Having better mental health does not magically happen overnight. Healthy well-being takes time to develop.




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