Apparently, we as Americans are starting to get the picture when it comes to parenting. According to a study conducted by two economists from the University of California San Diego, the amount of time parents are spending with their kids today has risen dramatically when compared to earlier generations. The study, which analyzed how Americans used their time during different periods from 1965 to 2007, revealed that, since the mid-1990s, the level of parental involvement with their children had almost doubled for both men and women, working or not. And when it comes to the health and well-being of our kids today, that’s wonderful news!
Time and time again research has shown that children whose parents take an active role in their lives experience tremendous emotional, mental and physical benefits. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, teens whose parents were present when they went to bed, woke up and came home from school were less likely to experience emotional distress. Research also showed that teens with involved parents experienced higher levels of self-esteem, internal self-control and resistance to negative peer pressure, which, in turn, led to more positive lifestyle choices and behaviors.
Beyond the emotional capability, parent involvement also has shown to positively affect school performance. According to the Children and Youth Services Review, students whose parents were more involved with their schooling tended to complete higher levels of education and were more likely to graduate from high school. This was especially true for both boys and girls whose fathers spent leisure time with them away from home, shared meals with them, helped them with homework and read to/with them. These adolescents demonstrated better grades across the board than those whose fathers were less engaged.
While a mom’s presence has proven to provide have a tremendous impact on a child’s life, there are several major categories directly related to a father’s influence. Studies have shown that when a father is absent or disengaged from a child’s life, the child is more likely to engage in substance abuse, aggressive or antisocial behavior, delinquency and crime. Also, young women who experience a lack of father-daughter connection are more likely to become pregnant as teens than those whose fathers are active in their lives during childhood.
Connecting with your children—especially your teenagers—can be a challenge, but it’s worth it. The relationships that are created will lead to fuller, more vibrant lives for both the teens as they mature and the parents as they watch them grow. And it doesn’t have to be anything out of the ordinary. Try simple tactics like talking to them and actually listening to them. Help them with their homework if you can, set and maintain rules that let them know you care, and encourage them challenge themselves by taking on difficult tasks. And be present. Go to their activities and take them on special outings. Eat together, play games together and just share life. After all, that’s one of the main benefits of families: knowing that you’re not alone and that you’re loved and accepted.
At Meyer’s and Waterloo Automotive,we care about our customers beyond the station. We know that when they arrive at either of our locations, they’re coming and going from real lives—jobs, classes, hobbies and, of course, families. That’s why we often blog about issues outside of auto care. Sometimes there are just things that are more important than belts and hoses.
Today, if you want to learn more about how to engage with your kids, we encourage you to seek out the help of others. Talk to trusted friends or counselors, read books and visit online sites from trusted sources such as Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, and, specifically for men, the National Center for Fathering or All Pro Dads. And when you plan your next great family bonding adventure, know that we at Meyer’s and Waterloo Automotive will be here to help you get started on the right track.
To schedule your next auto maintenance appointment, call us or stop by today!