We see – and say – such descriptions as “she’s definitely a daddy’s girl.” But what does it really mean? Are there differences in the relationships between sons or daughters and their fathers?
According to a study at Baylor University, 43 fathers and 43 daughters, not related to each other, were asked to write about a crucial moment of change in their own father-daughter relationships. The daughters were at least age 22, and the fathers were ages 45-70. Also included were adoptive and step-family relationships.
Most often mentioned by daughters were activities with their fathers, their marriages and physical distance from their fathers. Fathers most often mentioned joint activities, a daughter’s marriage and her beginning to date.
Today, we know that a father's participation impacts his children, and a close relationship is good for those maturing children.
Two generations ago, not too many fathers were found in the kitchen on a regular basis or taking on major child-raising chores. A generation ago, more fathers were more involved in their households and with their children. These days it isn't uncommon to see Mr. Mom at home and running the household, while mom has a career outside the home.
Mothers were and still are viewed as the nurturers and caregivers at the expense of fathers, although this is certainly changing in some cultures. In some countries, where months of maternity leave can be taken by mothers, a similar period of time can be taken by fathers, allowing for closer bonding.
It may be special treats found in their refrigerator each time we visited. Making macaroni necklaces. Teaching us to crochet. Allowing us to do what our parents never did. The always-available baby-sitting provided. The list can go on forever about the nurturing of our grandmothers and the importance of that in our individual development, as well as their place in our families.
Even more interesting is a new study based on computer simulations that supports the "grandmother hypothesis:" That we couldn't have done it without them!
The theory is that humans evolved longer adult lives than apes because grandmothers helped feed their grandchildren over some 24,000 to 60,000 years of development.
According to a new study by University of Iowa researchers, being attached to Dad is just as helpful as being close to Mom.
The study also revealed what families have known forever: Bond with your children when they are infants to make sure they will be happy and socially well-adjusted.
Researchers said that infants who have a close, intimate relationship with a parent are less likely to be troubled, aggressive or experience other emotional and behavioral problems when they reach school age.
They were surprised, however, to discover that infants who felt attached to both parents did not enjoy additional mental and emotional advantages into childhood, compared to those who had been close to just one parent.