The Future: Men's Health Initiative (part 3)
When trying to encourage men into our practices, us well-intentioned practitioners tend to focus on responsibility and hard work. I certainly won’t argue with that; we could all use a little kick in the pants. However, the value of dreaming and planning and looking ahead to a time when this journey will be a memory, when our hard work has paid off, and our goals are accomplished should not be overlooked. In short, dreaming of your future role as a father. It can be both healing and inspiring, especially as we are coming up to Father’s Day. So here is some excellent well-crafted research into fatherhood, it’s value and outcomes as enacted in our modern world.
Unfortunately, most research on parenting has focused on the Mother as primary caregiver, with the father being said to be a secondary caregiver, mainly providing economic support. However, this family model is clearly outdated in the last several decades, as more complex and varied family structures abound. For example, single parent families, same-sex parents, and heterosexual couples with equal working/at-home hours. Sadly, all of our research models in this context are quite limited. The good news is that slowly but surely, new research is now being done to describe the unique outcomes that sensitive fathering can have on their kids' future. For example, research shows that attentive fathers have children with more social competence who engage in more complex play and develop better language skills. Fathers also tend to do more rough and tumble play with their children. This has popularily been seen as “just fun” without any “real” value. However, engaging in this kind of intense physical play with a trusted care-giver increases the child’s social skills such as reading non-verbal cues and boundaries, as well as developing empathy and trust, not to mention physical strength and coordination. And also it’s fun. In fact, this study shows that executive functioning in kindergarten aged children (more strongly with boys) is correlated with positive father-child interactions.
So, in short, the importance of your role as a father cannot be overstated. Yes we can work on sperm health. We can reduce inflammation and improve fertility outcomes with diet, supplements and of course acupuncture. However, your role doesn’t end there. The value of your unique skills, attentiveness, and care is much greater than ever before understood.
If you have any questions about your own health picture, I am always available for a chat. Call today and book your free 15 minute phone consultation, or, if you're ready to get started, book in for your initial one hour intake and treatment. It’s free if you book with me in the month of June.