Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Breadwinner. Authority figure. Affectionate at times, perhaps, but in a remote sort of way.
Playful, loving, cooing, willing and able to change a diaper when duty calls.
With a younger generation of men in developing countries being exposed to new ideas and changing cultures, the somewhat distant father figure of the past is transforming into a hands-on parent who spends quality time and energy with his young ones.
For nursing associate professor Lynn Rempel, that’s great news.
“The children of most involved fathers are found to have higher IQs, are more successful in school, have better emotional regulation and are less likely to have behavioural problems,” she says. “Even within the first year, you can see differences in cognitive development in infants who have responsive fathers who are engaged in play and other activities.”
Rempel is a member of a research team that aims to increase the involvement of fathers in their infants’ and toddlers’ lives as a way of improving children’s physical, cognitive and emotional development from conception to age two.
Funding the team is a $270,000 grant from the Saving Brains program, an initiative of Grand Challenges Canada, a program funded by the Government of Canada that supports “bold ideas with big impact in global health.”