Monday, September 03, 2007

Are Christian fathers more effective?

Are Christian Fathers Better Fathers?
Hey, Dad, ever wondered if you have what it takes to connect with your kids? According to a study from the University of Virginia, if you've got a relationship with Jesus Christ, you're already heading in the right direction.
"...evangelical dads spent more time with children playing, helping with homework and talking."
W. Bradford Wilcox, an assistant sociology professor, studied fathers of children 5 to 18 years old. Evangelical Protestant dads came out on top or near the top in every category compared to fathers from other denominations and those with no religious affiliation.
According to Wilcox's research, evangelical dads spent more time with children playing, helping with homework and talking. They ate an average of 27 more meals a year with their children and were more likely to coach youth sports or lead youth activities.
"Evangelical Protestant fathers are very involved with their children, which I found surprising, given their tendency to embrace traditional gender attitudes," Wilcox noted.
So how can you defy society's expectations and become an even better dad than you already are?
• Watch a favorite TV show with your child. Ask him about the characters and storyline. This is a simple way to enter your child's world and recognize other influences that affect the way he thinks.
• Take your son or daughter to a restaurant you both like. Share favorite things and talk one-on-one without the competing demands of other siblings, phone calls or TV.
• Keep reading. Even tweens will enjoy reading a book aloud with you.
• Include children in projects. Ask them to help you string the Christmas lights, paint the basement or change the oil in the car. The teaching, connecting and fun will be invaluable.
• Know their friends. As children get older, knowing them means knowing their friends.
— by Clem Boyd