The Importance of Fathers

I keep trying to tell BBC radio that I am not a child psychologist and they keep ignoring me. So the last time I was on, I found myself commenting on paternity leave and how workable it is as a scheme. Clearly fathers, when they volunteer for their two weeks off work, are not doing it for the money. £124.88 per week is not a king’s ransom of compensation. On the programme we talked a lot about who would volunteer for this. Would it ever be senior people? Would they be seen as wimps with limited career aspirations? Would they still have to email and text to the mother ship of work?

Interesting though was a comment my male interviewer made as a recent father. He felt a bit of a ‘spare part’ around the baby with feeding schedules and nappy changing. He quickly went into the role of house husband cleaning up and making cups of sustaining tea. He said he thought the real role of father came later on when the child was walking and talking. Much research would agree as a father’s unique influence on play, politics and money happens after the formation of language.

However, as Eric Berne describes in his theory Transactional Analysis, as soon as we exit the womb a tape/ipod starts playing, recording all interactions. And of course the major interactions are with parents or parental figures. So although fathers might not feel they are playing a front line role they really are. Young women without that male bond seek more attention and early physical contact from boys and young men are more aggressive and critical of the opposite sex. Both sexes are less confident without a father’s early influence.

So fathers hang in there. You are being recorded for posterity.

According to The British Psychological Society, research demonstrates that objective measures such as tests and questionnaires provide more accurate assessments of employees than subjective approaches such as interviews or self-reporting. With clinical psychologist Ros Taylor at the helm, Ros Taylor Company has found that using psychometrics as a way of measuring leadership, personality, thinking styles, creativity, mental toughness and resilience has an important place in the running of a company.