Parenting is a difficult job, often stretching people to the extremes even when both parents are actively involved in the home. But if you are a divorced mother and you find yourself juggling the rigors of raising your children, meeting the demands of your career and other things vying for your attention, parenting can often stretch you beyond reasonable boundaries.
Women have often been placed in the position of primary caregivers; having to prove to themselves and to their employers that they can manage their careers, while still raising healthy, well mannered, well-adjusted children. In reality no one is capable of being all things to all people, and when you attempt to do so, some aspect of your life will go lacking. If you are fortunate enough to have an ex-husband who wants to spend more time with his children, you should consider the potential benefits for your children.
Time and Relationships
Time is something that can never be replaced. Parents who have demanding jobs that take them away from their homes and children often experience feelings of guilt. Mothers who are no longer in a relationship with the father should recognize that fathers also play very important roles in helping their children develop.
Mothers should give careful consideration as to the amount of time they are actually spending with their children each day, and how the fathers who want to be involved can help in the rearing process. Understand that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. It is okay to transfer some responsibility to the father, no matter how you may feel about him personally. Arranging for a father who wants to play an active role in the lives of his children will make for a much more amicable co-parenting experience.
A Father’s Influence
A father who wants to spend more time with his children and take more of a role in their lives has more of an impact on the children than most people realize. In a Psychology Today article written by Ditta M. Oliker, Ph.D., the author discusses the latest research conducted on the impact that fathers have on the lives of their children. The research showed that children with involved fathers tend to have more confidence, are able to establish and maintain healthier social connections as they age, and are emotionally secure.
According to Dr. Oliker, playtime between children and their fathers also has a significant influence on the social and emotional development of the children. Studies show that fathers invest a greater percentage of their face time with their babies and preschoolers engaging in playful and stimulating activities than mothers do. This type of play and stimulation allows children to learn how to control their behaviors and feelings. Children also have been shown to have greater intellectual functioning and more advanced verbal skills, and tend to do better in school, when they have caring and involved fathers.
Throughout Their Lives
Many of the skills that loving and involved fathers help their children develop are carried by those children into their adult lives. For example, teen girls tend to relate better to men when they have a father who is involved. Male children develop confident gender-role characteristics from nurturing male influences. Notwithstanding the fact that society has not come to the place where the importance of the role of the father is as recognized as a mother’s role in the development of children, it should be emphasized that fathers are also paramount to their children’s psychological, social and emotional development.