Fatherhood is often overlooked, undervalued, and taken for granted in today's society. We rarely hear about the unique and valuable ways that fathers support their families. Men are constantly critiqued and rarely highlighted for the significant role they play in their children's lives. Research shows that children from single-father households often do better than those from households with no father, and that children from homes with both parents tend to have higher academic success, emotional stability, and fewer behavioral problems.
If highlighting fathers causes you anger, you’re wrong. You already know all the ways your father failed. Just saying that unrolled a scroll of grievances in your head. Let’s learn to appreciate the men who literally have shorter life spans because he gives all his energy and life us!
Consistency & Reliability
One of the most significant ways fathers support their children is by being a consistent and reliable presence in their lives. In a world that is constantly changing and often unpredictable, fathers are like magicians, keeping the illusion of stability and order alive. Even when things are tough, fathers are always there to provide a steady hand and a shoulder to lean on. That is huge and highly undervalued in a world where women file for divorce 80% of the time, meaning mothers are often wrecking the family structure.
It seems that even when things get rough, fathers choose to keep the structure stable for kids. It’s selfless because they’re taking years of their life by remaining married to someone they don’t like anymore. Where mom’s are told to seek happiness because her happiness is more important than stability and structure. Science just backs keeping the family together, even when it’s unhappy. The kids can just move out and never come back after 18. But the parents still completed their social contract with the kids.
Beyond this, fathers also provide important psychological benefits to their children, whether or not they are the primary provider for the household. They can serve as confidants and mentors, offering guidance and support when it's needed most. The benefits of knowing that everything is safe when dad is around can’t be understated. His very presence is soothing in a way we usually don’t recognize in our youth because it was always there.
But the value of fathers goes beyond just being a reliable presence. Psychologically, having a man in the house, even if he is not the primary provider, has many benefits for children. Men tend to be more direct and less emotional in their communication, which can be helpful in teaching children to navigate the world. Fathers also tend to take blame where mothers might refuse, and they are often able to help their partners excel where single mothers may struggle.
Perhaps most importantly, fathers serve as the only arbiters and shepherds of masculine emotionality. They provide a safe space for their children to explore and express their less socially acceptable feelings in healthy and constructive ways. While the skill of submitting to your feelings is important, it’s highly overvalued today. That’s much easier than learning to compartmentalize so functioning becomes much easier, without falling prey to how we feel.
Research suggests that children raised in single-father households tend to have better outcomes than those raised by single mothers. For example, a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that children in single-father households had higher academic achievement, fewer behavioral problems, and higher self-esteem than those in single-mother households. It's important to note that this is not to say that single mothers are inherently worse parents than single fathers, but the data we have suggests better outcomes and higher wages can’t explain that along.
In conclusion, fathers provide an invaluable source of support and stability to their families, often in ways that go unnoticed. It's important to recognize and appreciate the unique benefits that they bring to the table, both for their own sake and for the sake of those they love.