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Professor's Insight into 7 Ways Fathers Make a Big Difference in June

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June is a special month for many reasons. It marks the start of summer, Father's Day, and importantly, Men's Health Month. This month provides an excellent opportunity to recognize the vital role fathers play in our lives, not just as providers but as active, nurturing figures.

Brandon Eddy, a professor and researcher with UNLV's Couple and Family Therapy Program, emphasizes that the increased involvement of fathers is crucial for the mental wellness of both children and dads. Here are seven key ways fathers make a significant difference in June and beyond.

A Professor's Insight into 7 Ways Fathers Make a Big Difference in June

(Photo : PEXELS / Josh Willink)

1. Quality Time Enhances Mental Wellness

Spending quality time with dad isn't just fun-it's crucial for mental wellness. According to Brandon Eddy, the bond formed during activities like tossing baseballs or grilling together strengthens relationships and improves mental health. Studies from Pew Research Center and family therapy journals agree that children with affectionate and involved fathers are more likely to succeed in school, exhibit self-confidence, and avoid substance abuse and legal troubles.

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2. Increased Involvement of Modern Dads

Fathers today are more engaged in their children's lives than at any other time in history. Eddy notes that dads now spend triple the amount of time with their kids compared to previous generations. This increased involvement isn't limited to playtime; fathers are actively participating in their children's education, health, and emotional well-being, which positively impacts the entire family.

3. Emotional Availability

Fathers today strive to be more than just disciplinarians or breadwinners. They aim to be emotionally available and involved in all aspects of their children's lives. Eddy points out that kids want dads who can provide structure but are also kind, compassionate, and playful. This emotional availability helps children feel secure and valued.

4. Evolving Roles and Responsibilities

The role of fathers has undergone substantial changes in recent decades. Fathers are now more involved in childbirth and early child-rearing activities, a shift from the traditional breadwinner role. Eddy recalls how he cut the umbilical cord for his children and how some fathers even engage in skin-to-skin contact with their newborns. Fathers are now equally involved in daily tasks such as getting kids ready for school, planning meals, and grocery shopping.

5. Addressing Gender-Specific Parenting

Studies indicate that fathers frequently employ different parenting styles when raising their sons and daughters. For instance, dads might encourage their sons to be tough and resilient while being more nurturing towards their daughters. Eddy emphasizes the importance of being emotionally available to both sons and daughters, ensuring that boys also receive the sensitivity and emotional support they need.

6. Overcoming Trauma and Building Strong Relationships

Strained relationships with fathers can lead to long-term emotional challenges. Eddy highlights the importance of recognizing and addressing childhood traumas through therapy. Taking the time to process uncomfortable feelings with a trained professional can help individuals understand and overcome their reactions, leading to healthier relationships in adulthood.

7. Self-Care for Better Parenting

One of the top pieces of advice for fathers is to take care of their own mental health. Eddy stresses that it's challenging to support others when struggling personally. It is important for fathers to prioritize their own health and nurture strong relationships with their partners. Spending quality, tech-free time with children, engaging in their interests, and fostering a supportive home environment are also crucial.

Celebrating Fatherhood Beyond June

Father's Day and Men's Health Month provide ideal opportunities to recognize and honor the diverse roles fathers undertake. Whether through quality time, emotional support, or evolving roles, fathers contribute significantly to their children's development and well-being. By embracing these changes and supporting fathers in their journey, we can ensure healthier, happier families.

This June, take a moment to appreciate the dads in your life and recognize their invaluable contributions. Whether you're a father yourself or celebrating your own dad, remember that the love, time, and effort you invest have lasting, positive impacts on the family.

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