Dr. Linda Nielsen Celebrates Dads and Destroys Myths about Father Involvement

Dr. Linda Nielsen Celebrates Dads and Destroys Myths about Father Involvement

July 12, 2019

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Dr. Linda Nielsen is a professor of adolescent and educational psychology at Wake Forest University. She’s also one of the world’s leading authorities on parenting time and child well-being. Her
recent article on fathers and their work/family balance is a must-read (IF Studies, 6/10/19). As always, the realities of how mothers and fathers treat the work/family balance militate in favor of equal parenting for fathers and mothers post-divorce.

One myth is that there is a large and unfair imbalance in how much childcare fathers and mothers provide. Another myth is that this supposedly huge childcare imbalance is mainly due to men’s selfish, sexist attitudes. The third myth is that fathers do not find enjoy spending time with their children as much as mothers do. In short, most dads, the story goes, are shiftless, selfish, sexist slackers.

How do those myths hold up to empirical scrutiny? Not at all. The science on fathers and children is replete with information showing fathers’ powerful connection to their children, children’s powerful connection to their dads and the need of both for Dad to have real, everyday parenting. Here’s one divorced mom who gets it (Thrive Global, 7/5/19).

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