Dads—your teenager needs your time! (and new research proves it) Show Notes

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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If you’re a dad with teenagers at home, how is your relationship with them? HealthDay.com is reporting on a new study at Penn State University that might interest you. 

It that found that contrary to popular opinion, kids may actually spend MORE time with their parents during the teen years. Also, that time spent together may improve a teen’s self-esteem and social confidence—especially if it’s time spent with DAD.

The study authors were surprised to discover that when fathers spent more time alone with their teenagers, the kids reported they felt better about themselves.

Dr. Susan McHale, a professor of human development at Penn State says it’s not that mothers are unimportant, it’s just that their role is a given in most family. She says "Mothers' roles are very scripted: they're caregivers, activity planners."

The researchers found that something about the father's role in the family seemed to boost self-esteem among the teenagers. 

What most differentiated some families from others was how much the dad was typically around and whether he devoted some of that time to be with his children

The study also found that parents tend to spend even more time with their second-born teenager than they do with the first.

Why?  According to Dr. McHale, it may be because the parents' comfort level in dealing with a teen is higher the second time around, said McHale.  She says: "The first born is a rough draft.”

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.

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