SCIENCE OF PARENTING: WHAT MAKES WOMEN CLOSER THAN MEN

blanket, boots, care

“We are not like them.”


the job aint easy

You ever hear people say that the job of raising children is not an easy? Well, it is; I don’t have any, but observing my mother raising children, I can tell it was a struggle. The feat of not only getting up making sure they are fed, but placing them into the world. You have to let go and realize they are in the world and trust they make the right decisions. Because the kid part are the cute years, it’s when we get older where the job becomes difficult. Once those adolescent years hit and friends become more of an influencer than parents, that’s when the job gets tough. But this topic is more than that, it’s about the relationship that each parent has with the child/children.

gender differences

The science behind why a woman is connected to the child more is simple. She is the one who carried the kid, so there is a deeper bond than the man has with the child. Men can easily role around and play with the kid then head off to work. We have that ability to connect then disconnect in an instant. But all throughout the day, especially when the child is a baby, women can’t do the same. It is impossible for a woman to tune out when the kid is young. She is able to do so as the kid gets older, and ready to take on their own identities. But is there more behind the idea that women connect better than men? Meaning, what is the even deeper science behind mom and dad bonds.

evolution

Humans have attachments to each other which aids in our ability to coexist as a planet. But when we have children men bond differently then women. And there is a science to this bond. My best guess is that men were never meant to be in the life of the child. Father’s being around is a social construct more than it is biological. Don’t get me wrong, men still will fight and die for their young, but were we supposed to be a community like we are today. There are social means as to why we as men stick around: give the kid guidance, be an example for what the kid shall be in life, a protector in the household, an additional contributor to the family, and a partner for the woman. These are social constructs, but biologically, we don’t have those attachments because maybe we were never meant to have them. That doesn’t excuse deadbeat fathers, it just aims at understanding why we can be great fathers, yet disconnect to get work done, or even become better disciplinarians.


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ALL FOR YOU (SHORT STORY)

It is toward the end of the day, and a group of senior girls are sitting in class. They are conversing regarding prom, while also congratulating a friend of theirs on what is her 18th birthday today. The birthday girl is so happy that she is 18 years of age and going to prom this weekend. The PA system sounds and the birthday girl’s name is called in class. On the other end of the PA system is a man’s voice, it’s her father. He not only wants to tell her happy birthday, but he has another important message as well.

DAD: Hello sweetie, this is your father, and I wanted to wish you a happy 18th birthday. Now I know this might make you feel uncomfortable, but please bare with me. This message is not only to tell you happy birthday, but something much more. 8lbs to be exact is what you weighed when you were first born. Holding you in my arms, made me realize for the first time in my life I loved something more than myself. Your mother was so fatigued after you were born, so I held you as she slept. Eventually the doctor carried you away to an incubator. And being the loving father that I am, I followed behind.

Looking at you from the other side of that glass, I was fixated on everything that was my infant daughter. From the cap the doctor placed on your head to wrist band with your birthing information. From your heartbeat to the machine that recorded it. I still remember being told by the doctor how you would have to stay in the hospital for a few days. The first night, I slept overnight in the hospital. Your mother fast asleep in the hospital room bed and I was curled up in a chair. The slightest noise at the room door, caused me to pop up out of my sleep. I’m telling you baby girl, being a first time parent you don’t know what to expect.

As you know, you came home and it’s what would be the start of our family. From the first night I laid you in your bassinet, I couldn’t help but to leave your bedroom door cracked slightly open. Even with a baby monitor, I needed more assurance. Everything about you, made me proud to call you my daughter. Your first words, your first steps, your first day of school. Oh, God, that first day.¬† Watching you get on that school bus with those other children was so painful. For the first few years, your mother and I kept you so close, now we had to turn you over to the world of academia.

I still remember driving close behind the school bus. I just wanted to make sure you got to school safely. And you know what, this wasn’t the first time I followed close by. Remember the time you wanted to walk to school alone when you were in the second grade. I said sure sweetie, but I walked close by. No one was getting close to you because I was close by. I realized in that moment you were growing into your own much faster than I anticipated. And boy did you grow. Watching you grow over the years, those adolescent years came fast. The parties, the arguments, the dating; nothing a father was ready to deal with.

But it came and I dealt with it the best way I knew how. So here we are, celebrating your 18th birthday. From the moment you came home from the hospital, I watched you grow into a amazing young woman. Everything I do, everything I’ve ever done has been for you. You know it’s funny as a man raising a daughter you have so many fears. You’re never ready to hear, dad I met a guy. But with those fears came a whole new level of appreciation. You taught me so much: you taught me how to listen, you taught me how to care, but most of all, you taught me how to love.

And not the love I have for your mother, but the love that forced me to my knees when I witnessed you take your first steps as a baby. The love I felt when you participated in your first gymnastics competition. And the love I felt watching you receive that acceptance letter to the college of your choice.

I don’t want to take up too much of your time in class, but you must know how much I care. You know, when you’re young, you think your parents are nagging at you. But I only talk because I know the world you’re up against. I talk because anything you needed to know and still need to know I wanted you to come to me. I want to let you know that I can’t promise I’ll be on this earth everyday. But what I will promise is that as long as I am on this earth, I’ll always be around. Anytime you need me, I’ll never turn my back on you. We may disagree, even argue from time to time. But until my dying day, I am only a phone call away.

So for the rest of the day, enjoy. Keep me in your heart and mind because you are in mind. You may be 18 years old, but my love as a parent is eternal. No matter how old you get, you’re my child and I am your father. And for that, I am a better man because of it. Love you always, Dad.

KID GAMES: DON’T LET ‘EM DIVIDE YOU

Image result for chess games

“Are you more strategic than your offspring?”

“Mommy, can I have some ice cream?” “No sweetie, you have to wait until you eat dinner first.” “Daddy, can I have some ice cream?” “Sure son, go ahead, but don’t eat too much.” “We still have to eat dinner.” And just like that, a parent has made a vital mistake in raising their child. There must be one voice in the household when raising a child. If that kid knows that they can run to one parent and always get an ok over an objection, that smells problems for your relationship. This also means that knowing they can get away with some things around one parent and not the other. The structure need to be clear and spoken from one voice.

What I mean by one voice is that if your kid comes to you asking for something they must know that when you say yes or no it means that on both sides. If a kid know they can play both sides, that speaks to the lack of communication from the parents. We are currently seeing the divorce between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie; where he seems to be more strict and she is more lax. This can be a recipe for disaster if both people are polar opposites. It’s fine to be a little bit different in the parenting styles, but too much difference results in long term problems; as seen with the Pitt-Jolie situation.

But since I am on the topic of divorce; what about communication here. It works so long as the parents are on the right page. But it’s hard to be on the right page with a child if parents are still bitter about their personal situation. Under these circumstances children really are in control. Because one parent might allow the kid to get away with more as a way to spite the other parent. For instance, daughter wants to have a boyfriend, but dad says no. Mom has sole custody, and is fine with daughter having a boyfriend. Daughter wants to date, so she is able to play her parents against each other because she knows they don’t get along.

This is an issue especially if the daughter finds herself in a serious situation and can’t find a way out. She will go to the parent that allowed her to break the rules to bail her out. Now mom has to bail her out because she went over dad’s head in the first place to prove a point. And if he finds out, it could make her look irresponsible. Or, on the other hand, mom might call dad and say guess what your daughter did, just to get a rise out of him. Daughter was using this divide in faction to her advantage. Now that she is in trouble, with the two of them bickering, she is unable to fix her situation. So the scheme that helped her is now backfiring.

In the end, children need to know they can’t play parents for fools. If they fell that one allows them to get away with more, they’ll run to that parent. Only problem is that when trouble arises, with both parents fighting the child suffers. So a child, even in the case of divorce, need to understand that both parents are on the same page. Even if both parents don’t get along, the child should not see that take place. Remember, you’re the adult; you’ve been on this planet longer than they have been. Don’t let them think they know life more than you. You should be the ultimate gamer.