Today’s dads are moving away from ‘toxic’ aspects of ‘manliness’ so they can become better fathers

SALT LAKE CITY — Most fathers today believe their roles in the lives of their children should be nurturing and engaged. And they’re putting those ideals into action, which is good news not just for the kids, but for the dads and for the moms, too.

That’s according to a new study by researchers at BYU and Ball State University that finds entire families thrive as modern fathers move away from “toxic” aspects of “manliness” that limit men to being authority figures, breadwinners and disciplinarians, but not nurturers.

The study is published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

“Men who think it’s not manly to play with their kids, to show warmth and affection, or that they’re spoiling the children by not spanking them or yelling — that’s a style of fathering that has substantial negative consequences to their kids,” says Kevin Shafer, associate professor of sociology at BYU and a study co-author. “Kids flourish when they have parents who are really involved in their lives, who they can count on, who are emotionally available and that care for them and who explain the differences between right or wrong, not just use fear.”

Aaron Thorup

“The more that fathers are involved, the more positive the outcomes for kids,” adds lead author Richard J. Petts, associate professor of sociology at Ball State. “The most important finding, in my opinion, is a growing mentality that fathers should be engaged and nurturing and expressive.” He notes that dads generally see the change as “good and necessary” and they are spending more time with their children.

The findings were “pretty clear cut” that loving, engaged dads benefits kids, according to Petts, who says he and Shafer — two men who first met while pursuing graduate degrees at Ohio State University and who are each …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Top stories


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