Men have a profound impact on every aspect of an unplanned pregnancy and in their role as fathers once their child is born. The pro-life movement is not only about empowering a pregnant woman to choose life – but also caring about moms, dads and babies throughout the pregnancy and after their child is born. The presence of a father in a child’s life is essential to their development emotionally, physically, economically and spiritually. A father’s influence impacts their child well into adulthood.
It has been said that if one person offered to stand by a pregnant woman contemplating abortion, that’s all it would take for her to choose life. Eighty-six percent of abortions are among unmarried women and the father of her baby is the most influential in her abortion decision. His voice in her life and her choices is powerful and life-changing.
Marriage and co-parenting as an abortion deterrent
Many women facing unplanned pregnancies are less likely to have an abortion if the father is in favor of co-parenting or marriage. Because of this, it is important to support these fathers and equip them with tools and information on how to respond to and care for the mother of their child. The goal is to bring children into the world with a loving and stable family that includes both of their parents.
Psychological well-being and social behavior
A present and actively involved father benefits a child’s psychological wellbeing. Infants with fathers who respond quickly when they cry and play with them display a more secure attachment. As they develop, this allows them to feel more comfortable exploring their environment and they are easily comforted after being briefly separated from their parents. These early life skills extend into the child being more confident in adulthood.
Children raised by both parents also often grow up to exhibit higher self-control and more pro-social behavior. They have a better social connection with their peers, tend to be more sociable and exhibit lower rates of depression and less disruptive or deceitful behavior. They are more likely to have good physical and emotional health while avoiding drugs, violence and delinquent behavior.
Playtime with a father or father-figure has an integral role in the child’s emotional development. Fathers usually spend a higher percentage of their time one-on-one with their infants and toddlers in playful stimulating activity than their mothers. During these interactions, a child learns behavioral regulation and how to control their feelings. Rough-housing with dad allows children to learn how to deal with aggressive impulses and physical contact in a controlled manner without losing control of their emotions.
Children need these early lessons to set the foundation for their psychological wellbeing. Children with an involved father are usually much more emotionally secure, resulting in better and stronger social connections as they grow older
Father’s impact on cognitive ability and educational achievement
Many studies suggest that having involved, nurturing and playful fathers result in the child having a higher IQ and better linguistic and cognitive capacities. They start school with a higher level of academic readiness and tend to be more patient. This patience comes from learning how to handle stress and frustration in their interactions with their parents, fathers included.
This carries through to the child’s adolescence and young adulthood and results in children having better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement. A study conducted by the US Department of Education in 2001 found that children with involved biological fathers were 43 percent more likely to earn A’s in their courses.
All of these factors contribute to successful adults and thriving families.
The impact of fatherhood on future unplanned pregnancies
Studies show that having a present father results in children being less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior. These behaviors lead to unplanned pregnancies, and if you can lower the number of young adults that are engaging in risky sexual behavior, you can lower the total number of unplanned pregnancies. The better we can model healthy relationships with children, the better educated they will be when making decisions about their behavior.
Fathers are an integral factor in a child’s development and quality of life. It is important for men to have support when they are facing unplanned pregnancies with their partners.
Our team at Choose Life Marketing is proud to see many of the pregnancy centers we work with offering helpful resources to dads. If you would like support in reaching more men in your advertising, contact Choose Life Marketing today.