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Family Matters

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Linda Mintle, Ph.D. is a licensed marriage and family therapist, author of 16 books, a national expert on family issues and the psychology of food and weight. She's an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School, a national speaker, writer, and news contributor.

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The Importance of Dads

June 14th is Flag Day. It's not a day most people think to remember, but I do. It was the day we buried my oldest brother who was killed by a bomb on an airplane. He was an army officer and father of a two-year-old and a baby on the way. It was a sad season in the life of our family. Not having your dad is a tough thing.

So I want to honor the importance of dads, especially on the eve of this Father's Day weekend.

Dads are more than second adults who grace our homes. Dads bring benefits to children and families and serve important roles. Despite the mockery of dads in sitcoms and movies, dads are vital to the healthy development of kids.

Here are 10 reasons dads are important:

1) Fathers who have good relationships with mothers spend more time with their kids and bring psychological and emotional health to their children.

2) Fathers tend to push achievement and intellectual development in their children and greatly influence academic success. They have children who get A's in school more often and are less likely to repeat grades.

3) Fathers promote independence. Moms tend to be more protective and nurturing.

4) Fathers play differently with their children than moms. They stimulate more one-on-one play with their babies and toddlers and help them deal with their aggressive impulses and lessen the frustration of toddlers, which spills over to the adolescent years.

5) Involved fathers have children who are more social and popular, according to studies.

6) Involved fathers have children who are socially better connected with their peers.

7) Involved fathers provide emotional security to children.

8) Fathers who treat mothers with respect, raise boys who respect women and girls. This in turn helps girls, as they are less likely to be involved in violent relationships.

9) Fathers who resolve conflict with mothers model this skill for their children.

10) Involved fathers provide an all important spiritual leadership role that models faith in action.

This Sunday, find a way to honor your father!

Happy Father's Day to my 92-year-old father who was and still is the best! And to my husband, the father of my children, you are so important to our family. Thank you for all you do.

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 11:37 AM

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