To hear people speaking so highly of single moms, and children being raised without fathers, one might begin to believe that fathers are somewhere between obsolete, optional or even detrimental to the well-being of children. Three studies linked here (h/t PJMedia) show how important fathers (specifically) really are.
The emphasis in the article was not to pit mothers against fathers, but to emphasize the need for both parents to be involved in a child’s life after a break-up.
- The first study points to the predictors for domestic violence against children… and why being in a home without a dad is dangerous to them. (Who is the most likely person to beat or kill a child, and why? It isn’t who we’ve been led to think!)In the ranking of “most ideal” to “least ideal” parenting situations, we might expect the first two rankings: intact family, and shared custody at #1 and #2 options respectively, but the next two run exactly opposite to conventional wisdom.
- The second study relates to the value of children spending the night with the non-custodial parent. It doesn’t produce any “harm” in being away from the primary custodial parent, and actually benefits the child, including diminished post-split parental conflict when parents share custodial responsibilities.
- The third study studies the Causal Effects of Father Absence. It was a meta-study in which peer-reviewed studies examined the connection between father absence and social-emotional development. Behavioural problems which hampered cognitive ability were higher when the father was absent.
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