Children need both mom and dad in their formative years

Every child needs a father.

Every child needs a father.

Participatory fatherhood is good for kids, families and fathers themselves. Men today are spending more time with their children and more time helping around the house.

Some fathers suffer from what can be called "baby illiteracy", but this is easily remedied when fathers read about babies, take part in childbirth classes, attend the birth, share in the care of the baby from the beginning and serve as active members of the parenting team.

What do fathers provide? For starters, they provide half of the child's genetic material.

Fathers also provide a second pair of hands, monetary resources, the role model of an adult male and the teaching of specific skills.

And dads are additional sources of the unconditional love that is so essential to every child.

We have all heard the expression "It takes a village to raise a child". In traditional societies the extended family takes part in child-rearing.

Most of us don't have an extended family handy, so all the parenting tasks fall to the mom and dad of the nuclear family.

Undoubtedly, a mother who is employed outside the home needs help with child-rearing.

But even if the mother stays at home, and is fully capable of providing all the child-rearing the baby needs, fathers should help in taking care of the children.

Children need to learn how to react to different people. The ideal situation in infancy is having two primary caretakers, a mother and a father. Many people describe their own father as a distant figure, a person hard to get close to.

But today's father has been liberated from the stereotype of the cold, impersonal, unemotional man.

Men are not afraid or ashamed to experience emotional closeness to their child.

So today's father provides both boy and girl children with a role model of the nurturing man.

A father's tasks:

lMother your child's mother - when you nurture and support the mother, you help her to mother well.

lShare in the most important part of parenting; socialising the baby.

lSpend time alone with your toddler or child. Play. Go for walks. Hang out together. Read to the child.

lBe a role model to your sons. Your son will learn how to be a man from being with and dealing with you.

lSpend time with your daughter. Do not ignore or avoid her because she is a girl. Also, do not "sex stereotype" kids.

lTeach your child what you know, and what you love to do whether it be sports, music, back-packing, or chess.

lHelp around the house.

If you sit around while your wife does house work sends a negative message to your kids that mothers and their work are not valued.

lEnjoy your children. Consider the time you spend caring for your children as a privilege rather than a chore. - Parent Kids Right