Rus Articles Journal

Paternity psychology. Practical recommendations for fathers of

in journalism and mass media are even more often discussed Recently the questions connected with traditional and modern understanding of a role of the father, there are myths about “crash of a family“, “loss of the fatherly authority“, “domination of mother in education of children“. To understand features of present fathers, we will try to consider the changes happening to a family in culture and society.

Historically formation of institute of paternity is connected with emergence of a private property when natural need of its inheritance by one of sons appears. So, to the man - the keeper of traditions - assigns function of providing women and children. As the parental behavior of the man is in essence social, it depends on training and without the corresponding social conditions can easily disappear. Besides, the psychological maintenance of a fatherly role in many respects depends on experience of own socialization of the man in a parental family, that what model of paternity was shown in a family by his father.

the Most widespread model of paternity was traditional until recently. In this model the father - the supporter, personification of the power and the highest disciplining authority, an example for imitation and the direct mentor in extra family, public family life. The fatherly role included responsibility for education, first of all, of the son. In traditional society work of fathers was always in the public eye that was base for the fatherly authority. The father was the head of the family, the person who makes important decisions, advises, directs because from family members he the most skillful, skilled, expert. This model of paternity in this or that form meets in societies where traditional types of economic activity remain.

of Change, connected with a family, were outlined, since 60 - x years of last century when professional employment of women sharply increased. It led to change of their vital strategy and situation in a family. If earlier the woman socially and economically depended on the husband - the head and the supporter of a family, then now in many families this role of responsibility for material security of a family is undertaken by women. At the same time women spend more and more time out of a family, and before spouses there is a question of distribution not only household chores, but also educational functions.

the New view for gender roles with growth of feminization could not but influence institute of paternity. In traditional model the role of the father in the first years of life of the child was considered as mainly auxiliary. However already in 80 - e in the countries of Europe and USA sociologists and psychologists designated “a new image of the man“ which was in many respects opposite to traditional. Differences, first of all, consisted in the attitude towards small children: the new model of paternity meant participation in leaving, manifestation of care, ability to come into emotional contact with the child.

Emergence of modern model of paternity is connected with democratic tendencies in society, equality of spouses in distribution of the rights and duties in a family. From the point of view of the American psychologists the successful paternity is characterized by active participation in education of children, interest in progress of the child and frequent communication with it. Usually such fathers are less severe, understand the children in comparison with the fathers showing “purely male“ qualities better. The last are much more exacting and strict parents, however they are rather inclined to assign daily cares to wives.

B than a difference between maternal and fatherly education?

From the point of view of E. Fromm fatherly love in comparison with maternal - love “exacting“, conditional which the child has to deserve. The fatherly love is not congenital, and is formed, for the first years of life of the child. To deserve fatherly love, the child has to conform to certain social requirements and fatherly expectations for abilities, achievements, success. The love of the father serves as if as an award for progress and good behavior. The possibility of a reproduction as according to traditional norms the man has to bring up the successor as the successor of a sort, the keeper of traditions and patrimonial memory is embodied in the child for the father. Thus, the father carries out function of social control and is the carrier of requirements, discipline and sanctions.

According to A. Adler`s representations the role of the father in education consists in encouragement of the activity aimed at the development of social competence. If mother gives to the child an opportunity to feel intimacy of human love, then the father blazes to the child a way to human society. The father is for children a source of knowledge about the world, work, equipment, promotes formation of socially useful purposes and ideals, vocational guidance.

As is noted by A. Greyms: “The maternal care provides a possibility of acceptance, the fatherly care induces to return. Both it is necessary for development of the personality“.

Fathers and children: what the understanding

one of the Moscow kindergartens begins

B with the psychologist suggested children of 5 - 6 years to play the known game “Daughters Are Mothers“. Girls quickly cast among themselves mothers, daughters, grandmothers, however none of boys agreed to be a father, at best - only the sonny or a doggie. After much persuasion one of boys agreed to a role of the father - he laid down on a sofa and told:“ Give me the newspaper and turn on the TV. Do not rustle! I will have a sleep, and I will play then on the computer“. So he held all game. That is done by mothers, grandmothers, all children, including boys, answered the psychologist`s question willingly and in detail. About what is done by fathers, told the few and in the most general words: “go to work“, “earn money“, “abuse mother“, “punish“.

I really, the modern father for the child it becomes frequent something mythical and inaccessible. It leaves early in the morning, the whole day somewhere “at work“ is engaged in something important, and comes back tired in the evening. It is enough only for the newspaper and the TV, sometimes and the computer. On - to a being, work, hobbies, life of the father pass by attention of the child. The father - not the partner, not the friend, and a certain punishing instance.“ Here I will tell the father, he will show you how not to obey“, - mother often threatens. Such alienation, discharge from education of children, seemingly, is a stereotype of our “culture of paternity“.

Psychologists interrogated young fathers from families with the child of the first year of life: Whether “It is interesting to you to communicate with the kid? What is the time you with it see off? Whether you play with it? in what games?“ Most of fathers answered so:“ Yes what he understands! Here will grow up, in soccer we will play with it, to go to hockey for now let mother with the grandmother nurse“.

Installation on dispassionateness it becomes frequent a source of misunderstanding, mistrust, the conflicts in the next years up to adolescence and youth. The first contacts with the kid are missed from the very beginning in the early childhood. All this affects in difficulties of mutual understanding between fathers and children, in absence at the child of trust and affection for the father subsequently.

the Problem of establishment of contacts of the baby with the father, since first days of life, is well studied by foreign psychologists. In Margaret Rodkholm`s research fathers had an opportunity to contact to the children born by means of Cesarean section, approximately within 15 minutes at the same time to them suggested to hold the child on hands, to talk to it, to stroke a head, handles and the newborn`s legs. Also as well as for mothers, early contact with the child of fathers influenced the subsequent interaction: such fathers showed bigger understanding of needs of children, experienced more positive emotions in contacts with children.

the Fathers who were present at childbirth say that they became attached practically at once to the child, endured emotional lift, pride, grew in own eyes. Presence on childbirth, joint experiences strengthen also affection of the husband for the wife, feeling of a community between the husband and the wife who quite often weakens when the newborn becomes the center of interests of mother.

by results of psychological researches babies, whose fathers looked after them, since first days of life, show higher level of intellectual and physical development, grow up more emotionally sympathetic. Between spouses there are less friction, they note unity of the purposes and a consent in decision-making concerning education of the child.

However psychologists noted

also that the attitude towards babies of the fathers seeking to take active part in care of the child differs from the relation of mothers. Fathers mainly play with the child whereas mothers usually swaddle, bathe and feed him. Even looking after the child, fathers prefer to do it in a game manner. At the same time fathers play with children differently, than mothers. Fathers are more inclined to the vigorous games aimed first of all at the physical development of the child: they throw kids, move them hands and legs, play the game “on hummocks, on hummocks“, swing on a leg, turn, roll on a back. Mothers handle with kids more with care, gently talk, stroke, carefully carry on hands.

Fathers at whom strong emotional connection with children at infantile age was established are further

more sensitive to the changing requirements and interests of the maturing children. In general such fathers have a greater influence on the child. Children listen to them more, are guided by their opinion, sons want to resemble fathers with whom at them warm, versatile relationship.

In the USA, Germany, France, other countries “schools for fathers“ where learn to look after, communicate, play with the small child successfully function, to understand it, to see in it the developing personality.


In Russia with its cultural and historical features, observes a bit different situation, than in the West. Data of sociological researches 90 - x, though note growth of a priority of a family among the Russian men, nevertheless do not reveal transformation of an image of the father in public consciousness. So, the Russian men to a great extent keep a traditional image of the father - the supporter and realize an archaic male role, continuing to consider care of small children and their education as mainly female occupation. Partly, sociologists explain these the strong hidden competition found as a result of poll and a mismatch of expectations of men and women of rather female role in society.

Nevertheless, the obtained data show also that not only in the West, but also in Russia fathers even more often are involved in care of babies and participate in their education, in families there is a cooperation what last generations did not know. Thus, functions of the father in a family undergo rather fast changes, there is a new model of paternity combining two forms of the emotional attitude towards the child - conditional fatherly and is unconditional - the accepting maternal love.

Readiness for paternity

Exists psychological communication between formation of fatherly feeling and level of a maturity of the identity of the parent. That is why much more often the paternity is fully endured by fathers of late children. The main psychological difficulty of “unripe“ fathers that, however, is peculiar also to young mothers, consists in inability to derive pleasure, pleasure from communication with the child. The maturity of fatherly feelings is expressed in the loving, accepting style of education. At such fathers the empathy is developed (ability to empathy - an editor`s note) they can sponsor, care for the child, and the paternity with all force captures them in the first years of life of the child. Characterizing fatherly love of mature fathers, one may say, that they feel need for learning, transfer themselves, to make the child in the highest cultural sense the successor, that is to transfer to the future everything the best, than you own. These fathers are more effective in interaction with children of early and preschool age. In contact with the child truly male lines - requirement and ability to protect, assume responsibility ripen, internal energy and force get stronger.

What occurs when fatherly feelings or a role of the father in a family are insufficiently expressed how it affects development of the child?


Psychologists well studied situations of a paternalny deprivation (i.e. situations of “deprivation of the father“ - an edition) where the father though is present physically, but in the educational relation either stays idle, or acts in a wrong way. In such families inversion of roles is usually observed - the strict authority represents mother more often here. As a result of domination of mother and alienation of the father positive identification of the child with parental models is broken.

Under normal conditions the father considerably influences sexual identification of the child. For the son already at early age he is a peculiar example, model for imitation, therefore, influences formation of gender identity. As I. S. Kohn notices, passive, detached fathers influence formation of actually male lines at the sons a little. Insufficient experience of communication with the father weakens formation of fatherly feelings at the boy and the young man, often adversely affects in the future education of own children.

Psychiatrist R. Campbell notes that influence of the father on sexual identification of the girl most is considerably shown in the period of youth. Gender identity of the girl is approval of as female worthy representative. It has to gain recognition of the importance in this age of 13 - 15 years as future woman generally from the father. The father promotes formation at the daughter of a positive self-assessment, expressing approval of its actions, abilities, appearance. At the girls who are brought up without fathers in the absence of real model of the relations between the man and the woman the unrealistic attitude towards males can be created.


In the sphere of emotional development revealed communication between absence or weakness of the fatherly beginning and aggressive behavior of boys. Excessive hostility to people around arises at them as revolt against excessive dependence on mother for the first years of life. Aggression, thus, is expression of search man`s “I“.

the Boys who are excessively attached to mother can experience difficulties at communication with peers.

the Famous domestic psychologist A. I. Zakharov of fathers, whose children have neurosises, characterizes as shier, timid, silent, closed, constrained in communication, sensitive to threat, careful, nonflexible in judgments, conservative, focused more on own opinion, than on opinion of people around.

At the impulsive, impetuous fathers inclined to unexpected actions, sons often have neurosises in the form of enuresis, a tic, stutter. The excessive severity of the father can provoke emergence of fears at the son. The same effect is observed at the daughter, in case of lack of accurate requirements and permissiveness from the father.

Influence of the father on mental development of the child

of Feature of a fatherly role in a family and education of children are defined p by such factors as availability of the father to the child, his inclusiveness in joint activity. Comparison of “the included fathers“ and the “included mothers“ i.e. who are actively participating in education allowed to draw a conclusion that such fathers influence development of the child more successfully, than mothers.


Psychologists obtained the data demonstrating that at the children growing without father humanitarian abilities gain bigger development. When comparing maternal and fatherly styles of education it was shown that authoritativeness of the father renders, generally positive influence on informative abilities of children whereas authoritativeness of mother - negative. Intellectual harakteristhe father`s tics more precisely, than similar characteristics of mother, correspond to formation of informative skills of the child irrespective of his floor. Positive compliance between endowments of children and level of complexity of a fatherly profession is revealed.

Many researchers emphasize with

exclusive importance of behavior of parents in the first years of life of the child for development of its self-assessment. Installations of parents thanks to which the child feels that he is loved are respectful to him, cause in him the similar installation leading to feeling of own value and success. Thus, heat, the care of parents and their insistence dictated by love have to promote development of a positive self-assessment, and the frosty, hostile relations lead to opposite effect.

In spite of the fact that practically all parents love the children, between them distinctions in that exist, how often and openly they express this feeling.

external manifestation of love, tenderness of the father to the child is not characteristic

Of our culture. You will seldom see on walk the father by a hand with the son - more often they go nearby and do not even talk as though the father just accompanies the child. To embrace, put on knees, to praise, ask that saw on walk, in kindergarten, to be surprised, admire a construction from cubes, drawing, ability to dance, tell the poem - all this is not peculiar for most of modern fathers.

Today the love of the father to the child is most often expressed to

in purchase of expensive toy. But much more even the most attractive toy the child needs fatherly attention, participation, understanding, friendship, a community of interests. The father not just the supporter, but the person opening for the child the world helping it grow skillful, self-assured.

One more negative line of our current trend of education - prevalence of censure over a praise. Many fathers think that to bring up - means to do remarks, to forbid, to punish and in it see the parental function. As a result by 4 - 5 years the child has an idea of the father as the person who, unlike mother, expects from the child of the “wrong“, “bad“ behavior low it is estimated - not only this or that concrete act, but also the identity of the child in general. Further this representation extends to other people - the child becomes diffident, expects from surrounding negative estimates of the abilities and abilities.

authoritative style of education is Especially adverse

for development of the identity of the child. Characteristic feature of behavior of authoritative fathers is their aspiration to categoricalness in judgments and clarity in any situation. Therefore any punishment, any requirement to the child does not comprise even a hint on readiness to accept the child, to help it with something or to convince. Such fathers can sincerely consider by times that their child is bad entirely, without any reservations. As a result at the child from first years of life the confidence that he is not accepted grows, do not approve, and eventually leads to belief in the uselessness for parents. In behavior of children as a result of such education intensity is noted. Besides, any new or not clear situation is associated at children with a possibility of punishment that in turn is followed by the increased uneasiness and feeling of discomfort. And as for the child of early age very many situations are unfamiliar, it stays almost all the time in a disturbing state.

However, even abusing and punishing the child, parents do to his self-perception smaller harm, than showing to it absolute indifference. Indifference, disinterest in the child lead to deformation of his image “I“.

Practical recommendations

  1. of Mother should give to the father opportunities for interaction with the child, since first days of life.

    the Father can participate in care of the kid: to change pampers, to help to expiate, take a walk, feed from a small bottle and so forth. At the same time it is useful to accompany the actions with the tender words turned to the child, a smile.

  2. the Important place in interaction of the father with the growing-up child game has
  3. . Unlike mothers fathers are inclined to arrange vigorous, unpredictable games which especially are pleasant to children. Mother should not forbid similar games on the ground that game with the father is not similar to game with mother.

  4. Fathers communicate with the children in public places, such as a zoo or park of rest more. It is useful to organize similar joint walks of the father with the child.

  5. Fathers who often communicate with the small children become significant figures in the world of the child. First of all, they become behavior model to which the child begins to follow. The more communication and interaction of the father with the child, the better for mental development of the kid.

  6. the Adults caring for the child have to try to keep his behavior in a certain framework. Sometimes parents think that any control of actions of the child will prevent his creative activity and independence and therefore only helplessly look as the kid does everything that to it will like. Other parents are convinced that the small child in everything has to behave consciously as the adult. They control and limit behavior of the child, do not provide to it independence. Any instructions of parents should not be beyond common sense and are obliged to consider needs of children for safety, independence and creative activity.

  7. Should impose on children reasonable demands and to insist on their performance, to let know clearly to the child what from it wait for and to be consecutive. It is necessary to concentrate efforts on support of desirable behavior, but not on eradication of undesirable.

  8. Avoid unjustified use of force and threats for control over behavior of children. Their use forms similar behavior at children and can become the emergence reason in their nature of such unpleasant lines as malevolence, cruelty and obstinacy.

  9. Very carefully should use
  10. censure and prohibition. Censure and prohibition should be stated softly, kindly, censures of the identity of the child are inadmissible, they can be addressed only to his separate actions. So, it is necessary to speak not “you bad“, and “you badly made“. After prohibition or censure of any action it is necessary to show to the child a positive sample.

  11. you Praise the kid for progress. If something is impossible to the child, help it to cope with difficulties, support, let know the success. It is not necessary to praise for unsuccessful actions. It can deform a self-assessment. The assessment of children`s achievements has to be adequate to the achieved result.