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10 Reasons to Take Good Care of a Father

By Drs. Rick and Jan Hanson

(page 2 of 2)

  • It's good for the children. A father's well-being affects his children in a thousand ways and shapes the course of their entire lives. A vital way to take good care of children is to take good care of their fathers.

  • It's good for the mother. Fathers who are happy in their marriage are usually more empathic, helpful, and loving with their wives.

  • It's good for the marriage. Fathers who feel cared about, listened to, seen and valued as a lover and mate (not just a co-parent), respected and appreciated, and - frankly - sexually satisfied are much more likely to stay married than those who do not. Besides the rewards for children and their parents, lasting marriages benefit society in many ways, such as bringing stability to communities and fostering respect for family.

  • It helps the economy. Family and marital problems stress fathers and lead to physical and mental illnesses that increase the nation's medical costs and decrease workforce productivity. These are public health problems, and addressing them would add hundreds of billions of dollars each year to our economy (with related benefits to tax revenues).

  • It's good for society. A culture that takes a stand for families by respecting and supporting the fathers as well as the mothers at their center will be more humane and decent for everyone.

  • It's good in itself. Being compassionate, considerate, and generous with a father feels good in its own right. It is also a deep form of spiritual practice to "love your neighbor as yourself" - including the one sitting with you at the dining room table.

* * *

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, Jan Hanson, M.S., L.Ac., is an acupuncturist/nutritionist, and they are raising a daughter and son, ages 16 and 19. With Ricki Pollycove, M.D., they are the first and second authors of Mother Nurture: A Motherís Guide to Health in Body, Mind, and Intimate Relationships, published by Penguin. You can see their website at or email them with questions or comments at; unfortunately, a personal reply may not always be possible.

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