Father's Day Must Be Every Day - Critical For Child's Development
Israel News Agency
Israel --- June 17, 2012 ... A father's love and presence is as
important to a childs emotional development as a mothers,
a large-scale study has confirmed.
Investigating the cases of more than 10,000 sons and daughters
revealed how a cold or distant father can damage a childs
life, sometimes for decades to come.
The review of 36 studies from around the world concluded that
a father's love is at least as important to youngsters as that
of their mothers. Researcher Professor Ronald Rohner said that
fatherly love is key to development and hopes his findings will
motivate more men to become involved in caring for their offspring.
In the US, England and Europe, we have assumed for the past
300 years that all children need for normal healthy development
is a loving relationship with their mother, he said.
And that dads are there as support for the mother and to
support the family financially but are not required for the healthy
development of the children. But that belief is fundamentally
wrong. We have to start getting away from that idea and realize
the dads influence is as great, and sometimes greater, than
His conclusions came after he examined data from studies in which
children and adults were asked how loving their parents were.
Questions included if they were made to feel wanted or needed,
if their parents went out of their way to hurt their feelings
and if they felt loved. Those taking part also answered questions
about their personality. These ranged from I think about
fighting or being mean to I think the world is a good,
who deny fathers access to the couples children after a
break-up could be jailed.
Tallying the results showed that those rejected in childhood felt
more anxious and insecure as well as hostile and aggressive.
Many of the problems carried over into adulthood, reported the
study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology
Crucially, a fathers love was often just as important as
a mothers. In some cases, it was even more so. One reason
for this may be that rejection is more painful when it comes from
the parent the child regards as more powerful or respected.
'Children and adults everywhere - regardless of race, culture,
and gender - tend to respond in exactly the same way when they
perceived themselves to be rejected' Professor Rohner, of the
University of Connecticut, US, said rejection in childhood has
the most strong and consistent effect on personality and
He added: Children and adults everywhere regardless
of race, culture, and gender tend to respond in exactly
the same way when they perceived themselves to be rejected.
Professor Rohner said that children who feel unloved tend to become
anxious and insecure, and this can make them needy. Anger and
resentment can lead to them closing themselves off emotionally
in an attempt to protect themselves from further hurt.
This may make it hard for them to form relationships. They can
suffer from low self-esteem and find it difficult to handle stressful
ways of the world: If a child perceives her father as having higher
prestige, he may be more influential in her life than the child's
Professor Rohner added that research shows the same parts of the
brain are activated when people feel rejected as when they suffer
He added: Unlike physical pain, however, people can psychologically
relive the emotional pain of rejection over and over for years.
His research shows a fathers input is particularly important
for behavior and can influence if a child later drinks to excess,
takes drugs or suffers mental health problems.
Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, said: This
study underlines the importance of intact and stable families
where both the father and the mother are committed to bringing
up their children together.
Successive governments have failed to recognize the fact
that men and women are different and that they parent differently.
He criticized ministers for pretending that one parent is
as good as two, or that two parents of the same sex are as good
as two natural parents of the opposite sex.
This week, the Coalition announced penalties for mothers who fail
to allow former partners to maintain a proper relationship with
their children, including jail. A right to shared parenting
following family breakdown will also be enshrined in law.
study has revealed nothing that we did not know," said Joel
Leyden, Director of Fathers
4 Justice Israel.
"In fact it has reinforced other recent studies that illustrate
that dads are just as important as moms. These are facts that
politicians, family courts and social workers are now coming to
that the greatest challenge is PAS - Parental Alienation Syndrome,
where the mother falsely accuses the father of child abuse and
the family courts deny or reduce visitation without even investigating
the false charges. The father may slowly accept this unnatural
distance and the child will have lost a caring, loving and responsible
pushing for a law in Israel which would require prison time for
any mother found guilty of alienating her children from their
2012 Israel Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman declared that divorced
parents must now share custody of children. Neeman accepted recommendations
by the Schnit Committee that joint parental custody be ordered
in divorce cases involving young children, which the law defines
as those up to age 6. Until now, most divorced fathers in Israel
became visitors, being limited to seeing their children only a
few hours a week.
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