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July 08, 2014 06:17 PM

A Father's Role In Child's Life

Sioux Falls, SD

New research shows that dads are taking a more active role when their baby arrives.  And that strong bond continues as the child grows.  The study also suggests that bonding with baby may actually re-wire dad's brain.

Michael and Jenna Klepatz have celebrated a lot of milestones together. They moved into a new house, got married two years ago and most recently became proud parents to their newborn son, Kellan.

"You know it really is a game changer because all of a sudden you have this new member of your family that's the center of your entire universe," first-time father, Michael Klepatz said.

These first-time parents can't get enough of their little bundle of joy who's just one week and two days old.

"A special experience for me is when he's falling asleep and I can rub the back of his neck or rub his back," Klepatz said.

Research shows fathers can quickly react instinctively to their child's needs simply by spending more time caring for them.

"As a first-time father, I want to be around for everything. I jumped at the first opportunity to change that diaper. I jumped at opportunities to give him the bottle and I jump at opportunities to put him down for bed," Klepatz said.

From changing diapers to late-night feedings, a new study shows that first-time fathers today are more active in their child's life.

"You know, the first 24 hours or the first day that Kellan was around, she saw me change more diapers than my father changed in my entire youth. And, you know, we all kind of laughed about it, but I do thinks there's definitely a trend towards being a tag team; it being 50-50," Klepatz said.

"It's definitely very accepted and it's pretty much the norm now if I go into a room and there's a child and a dad that's not unusual at all. That's probably like almost half of all the kids we see now," Dr. Edward Mailloux said.
 
Mailloux says parenting today is becoming more of a partnership rather than mom taking the leadership role.

"There's always this joke that dads can't multi-task because moms do what dads can't do.  All those things, as long as they have the opportunity and want to do them, they are very capable," Mailloux said.

Klepatz is already getting the hang of being a dad and can't wait to make more memories with his son in the future.

"I'm loving this experience but I am looking forward to that next experience when we can start communicating and talking and he can let me know what's wrong and what I can do to help.  Let's play let's wrestle or throw the football around," Klepatz said.

The study also suggests that societal norms continue to evolve.  While a mother's role in a child's life has remained consistent, a father's involvement has varied over the years.

  • HealthBeat
  • Men's Health
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