Whenever the topic of who brings a baby at home is mentioned, a large group of old fathers always retreat strategically:
- Hey hey, I don't know how to bring a baby!
- I have never brought my baby, I dare not, what if I fall the baby??
Mothers are also very worried about these old fathers with their babies:
- Forget it, he doesn't know anything about bringing a baby, don't make trouble anymore!
After studying various documents, we discovered that the fact of a father bringing a baby is really not as simple as "just be alive, and don't make trouble"!
The study found that the brain of a father who often brings a baby changes!
In 2014, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published an experimental study titled "Father's Brain Is Sensitive to Childcare Experiences".
The subjects of the experiment were 89 parents who raised a baby for the first time. They were divided into two categories: one was a heterosexual family, where the mother was the main person in charge of bringing the baby; the other was a gay family, where the father was the main person in charge of bringing the baby.
In other words, there are three types of parents in the experiment, which we abbreviate as:
The researchers recorded the interactive images of these families and counted the degree of tacit understanding between parents and children. The degree of tacit understanding was evaluated by the parent-child synchronization score.
Parents and mothers with high parent-child synchronization scores are considered to have more sensitive parenting instincts. They can more sensitively capture the signals sent by babies, and provide them with more responses through language, expressions, movements, etc., so as to meet their changing needs.
Researchers found that among the three types of parents, heterosexual mothers and homosexual fathers have high parent-child synchronization scores, which are much higher than those of heterosexual fathers.
Speaking of this, we can first make sure that even without the participation of women, men can have the same parenting acumen as their mothers through continuous practice, adjustment of their mentality, and adaptation to their roles, and they can form a tacit understanding of full marks with their babies!
Father takes baby, reshapes father’s brain
Based on the differences in parent-child synchronization scores, the experimenters further explored the different brain working mechanisms of these parents in the process of parenting.
The researchers showed them interactive videos with the babies, and at the same time used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to record their brain imaging, studying the cortical areas of the brain that are active when watching the video.
When watching interactive videos, heterosexual dads who have relatively lower parent-child sync scores and are less likely to bring babies, their brain imaging shows that only the subtemporal sulcus (STS) in the brain is very active, and this area is closely related to people's social skills.
In the same state, the brains of heterosexual mothers activate the amygdala. The activation of the amygdala means that the mother is more sensitive to the different emotional states of the baby.
Researchers believe that this is due to the effect of pregnancy and childbirth on progesterone, which changes the brains of mothers and makes the amygdala become more active. But fathers lack such natural experience, so naturally, they are not like mothers, which quickly activate the amygdala and respond the fastest to the baby's needs.
Speaking of which, many fathers must be immediately excited:
- Look! I said that I really can't take care of children, and it's easy to delay the baby.
Don't worry, the experiment is not over yet, let's take a look at the brain changes of fathers in gay families.
Brain imaging shows that the inferior temporal sulcus and amygdala of gay dads are very active!
- For mothers who take care of babies, only the amygdala is activated;
- For the fathers who don't take care of the baby, only the inferior temporal sulcus is activated;
- The fathers who take care of the baby, unexpectedly both nerve tissues are highly active!
In other words, even if there is no pregnancy and childbirth, even if there are no women in the family, as long as the father is careful to take care of the baby, the father can also have a highly sensitive "parenting brain" and become a good hand for the baby!
Moreover, the amygdala is closely related to the ability to control emotions. Some mental disorders related to emotional abnormalities are also related to the amygdala, such as Alzheimer's disease and anxiety.
Fathers accompany their children, not only do they become more skilled and radiate the brilliance of fatherly love, but they can also reshape and optimize their own brains. It can be described as killing two birds with one stone!
Of course, when a father brings a baby, the benefit to the child is more than a little bit.
For example, to promote the development of the baby's language ability.
A study on the way of language communication between parents and children (McLaughlin et al., 1983) found that for the questions used by skilled old mothers when playing with them, babies only need to answer yes or no, such as "Baby, do you want to play with this toy?"
But fathers who are not good at bringing a baby will give more open questions, such as "How do you play with this toy?"
In this process, children continue to have more language output, and to practice social skills of interaction and cooperation.
The father's company can also make the child more cheerful.
Harvard University conducted a stranger experiment on 1-year-old babies and found that babies with a high father-son interaction rate have the lowest fear of strangers, are most interested in stimuli in the external environment, and also love to laugh most. Babies who are always smiling are also more exploratory and more focused (Spelke, et.al, 1973).
We are all convinced that even without the participation of men, mothers can do their best in parenting. But fathers, don't use "I am not good at, I can't do well" as an excuse and refuse to participate in bringing the baby.
Even if it's just a clumsy bath for your baby every day!
Kim Young-hoon, a South Korean child neurologist, mentioned in the book "Dad Raising Children, Children Are Better":
"Studies have shown that children who often bathe with their father have strong social skills when they grow up; otherwise, 30% of them will have serious obstacles in making friends when they grow up. Less than 3% of children who take baths with their father 3 to 4 times a week have this problem when they grow up. "
"Bathing children can not only eliminate father's fear of parenting, but it can also create a desire for parenting."