There’s good news for the American family. 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 at D&R Autoworks, we couldn’t be more pleased.
Research has shown that children whose parents take an active role in their lives experience tremendous benefits—emotionally, mentally and physically.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, teens whose parents are present when they go to bed, wake up and come home from school are less likely to experience emotional distress, as are those who engage in activities with their parents. Research also shows that teens with involved parents also experience higher levels of self-esteem, internal self-control and resistance to negative peer pressure. Based on what were deemed to be demonstrations of love, responsiveness and proper discipline from the parents, teens even showed signs of greater mental capability.
Beyond the emotional capability, parent involvement also positively affects school performance. According to the Children and Youth Services Review, students whose parents are more involved with their schooling tend to complete higher levels of education and are more likely to graduate from high school. This is especially true for both pre-teens and teens 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 is shown to have a lasting positive impact on a child’s life, there are several major categories that are directly influenced by the father. When a father was shown to be absent or disengaged from a child’s life, the child was proven more likely to engage in substance abuse, aggressive or antisocial behavior, delinquency and crime. Young women who experience a lack of father-daughter connection are also more likely to become pregnant as teens than those whose fathers were available and active in their lives, especially during early childhood.
Establishing and maintaining a connection with your children can be a challenge, but it’s well worth the effort. And the relationship investments will bless more than just your teens; they’ll bless you as well as you experience the fullness of the parent-child bond. If you want to start engaging more with your children, try simple tactics that make a big difference. Talk to them. Ask them questions and actually listen to their answers. Help them with their homework, set and maintain rules that let them know you care, and help them challenge themselves by encouraging them to take on difficult tasks. But more than anything, be present. Go to their activities and take them on special outings. Eat together, play games together, watch TV together (just not too much) and just share life. Knowing you want to be part of their lives will help them succeed in just about every aspect of life.
At D&R Autoworks, we are family men and women, and we care about our customers beyond the service station. We know that when they arrive at our shop, they’re coming and going from real lives—jobs, classes, hobbies and, of course, families. And while we hope that they’re all driving away from us headed to pleasant homes, we know that’s not always the case. That’s why we often blog about issues outside of auto care. Sometimes, we believe there are more important things than belts and hoses. Not many, but a few. And parent-children relationships are one of them.
Today, if you want to learn more about how to engage with your kids, we encourage you to seek out the help of others. Visit online sites from trusted sources such as Focus on the Family and FamilyLife, or, specifically for men, the National Center for Fathering or All Pro Dads. And, if you just want to be treated to friendly auto service while you’re on your way to your next family outing, stop by D&R Autoworks. We’ll always put our expert service to work to get you and your family safely on your way. Call us or stop by today!