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Dad’s Age May Influence Certain Behaviors In Kids

Father and son
Society often gets a fixated on the connection between mothers and their children. This leads to an unhealthy balance where many men are made to feel like they have no connection to their children or that they don’t get some “mystical” bond with their children by virtue of being the father. The truth is there are plenty of connections between a child and both their parents. Genetics determine a lot, yes, but upbringing and who each parent is as a person influences children as well. This needs to be stressed as co-parenting shouldn’t be looked down or discarded because of the social norms that work against men forming a bond with their children. Studies routinely come out showing both parents are important with some of them leaning on the interesting ways in which one parent or another influences a child. A recent study came out showing that a father’s age when raising a child may have surprising effects on the behavior of a child.

The Link Between Age and Behavior
Researchers routinely look at different populations to figure out the best ways to approach a given study. The recent study was no different. In analyzing the behaviors of children compared to the age of their fathers, the researchers actually managed to overall minimize the likelihood of it influencing a lot of factors. In the study, the age of the fathers showed no marked differences in the development of mental or physical issues within their children. Variations were such that they were considered to be not statistically significant. This wasn’t so when it came to the behavior of the children though. It became clear, when examining the data, that children of middle-aged fathers were more likely to develop behaviors supporting positive social interactions with others at a higher rate than their peers. An interesting quirk was that the other children, with particularly young or old fathers, developed these behaviors sooner, but they didn’t develop at as high a rate or for as long as the children raised by middle-aged fathers. Researchers aren’t entirely certain why this is so, but speculate that it likely has a link to subconscious emulation of the father’s behaviors.

What It All Means
The study is more a series of observations than anything applicable to the real world. Not only is it just a single study, but the effects described are not at all significant enough to merit changing the time in which a couple chooses to have or adopt children. Think of the results of this study as an interesting bit of research indicating another way in which fathers can and do influence their children. Admittedly, further studies will have to be done to prove the effect is actually there and that it has any appreciable influence. The influence a father can have on their child is both far greater than an increase in a particular set of behaviors and governed by far more factors than age alone. What this study does do is offer insight into why some people are more socially adept than others. This is especially true for people who are younger and demonstrate a social awareness above their age. Though this, as stated above, merits further research before it can truly be considered a confirmed influence.

Being An Influence
Fathers looking to be a positive influence in their children’s lives can certainly rely on a lot more than the happenstance of their age. Being an active and engaged co-parent in raising a child drastically helps improve relationships between fathers and their children as well as providing a noticeable influence on their behaviors. Don’t be afraid to look things up and do a little research when you run into complicated situations. No one is born with a “How to” guide to parenting that is perfectly adequate. Learning to listen to your children has also been shown to have a larger influence on how they turn out and to help create and foster strong parent-child bonds. All the research on the topic simply boils down to being an active and positive influence in your child’s life. Remember that that means reconsidering things you might have had done to you as a child that you didn’t like and seeing if they are known to do harm rather than trusting your intuition. Learning how to be a parent and being one will pay off for both fathers trying to engage with their children and help ensure their children lead happier, healthier lives.

Parents influence their children in a myriad of ways. Some of these are things the parents can control and others are entirely left up to genetics and the vagaries of life. While the study we highlighted demonstrated a link between a father’s age and a child social adeptness, it is far from the only factor and shouldn’t be considered the thing that actually decides a child’s behavior. Active and engaged parenting from both parents will help most children be as happy and healthy as they can be in most aspects of their lives. The study is little more than an interesting glimpse at a factor with a potential influence and nothing more.

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