If your August edition of the Californian Journal of Health Promotion has gotten buried on your coffee table, as I know it does, then you missed an article about how prison yoga is making incarcerated fathers into better parents. Because duh. And double duh that this came from a Californian scholarly journal.
In a study that in no way has to do with human fathers, scientists at the University of Cambridge found that all the good dads in the burying beetle world were dying younger.
Burying beetles, BTW, are these nasty-ass bugs that find dead birds and mice and bury the carcass. They then lay their eggs near it, and the larvae hatch, crawl into the carcass and feed on the dead animal and we all throw up just thinking about it.
But we’re going somewhere with this.
Have you ever noticed that moms and dads speak differently to their babies? Moms tend to engage in “baby talk”, while fathers’ words tend to sound a lot more like the kind of conversation they’d have with an older child. Or, say…their accountant.
“This isn’t a bad thing at all — it’s not a failing of the fathers”, according to study lead Mark VanDam, a professor in the Speech and Hearing Sciences department at Washington State. “We think that maybe fathers are doing things that are conducive to their children’s learning but in a different way. The parents are complementary to their children’s language learning.”
There’s no shortage of science project books for parents and kids. Anyone can tell you how to make your own rock candy crystals or rockets powered by Mentos and Coke. But – call it nepotism or playing 8Bit favorites – I really like Mike Adamick’s Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments. It was released almost one year ago – ICYMI – and answers all the tough science questions kids tend to ask.
Mike had sent me his first book, Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects, which had a bunch of sweet do-it-yourself projects, like superhero capes and those books where you open up the cover and there’s a hidey-box inside. It also had a handful of daunting projects, like building rope swings, teeter-totters and old fashioned fruit crate scooters. Fo’ real. You can see that Mike loves DIY more than anyone, and even talked about my nerdy perler projects in an article on Parade. No shame here. My favorites game is fierce.
This book, Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments, will teach you rad stuff – even how to make Mentos/Coke rockets and candy crystals. My favorite thing about the book is that it answers the perennial kid question, “why?”
Sure, you get half of your genes from your mother and half from your father, but science may have just found that dad’s genetic goo is responsible for more than mom’s, at least in matters of health.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina, School of Medicine did the study on mice, and was the first study to indicate that suggest that mammals are more similar to their fathers than their mothers.
It’s called “allele-specific gene expression”, and it’s crazy wafers.
Fatherhood is dangerous – just ask a testicle.
A study of 2,000 fathers in England found that dads are hurt to the tune of 22 injuries a year. Most of the injuries are related to the kids – whether it’s during play with them or tripping over a toy left behind. Or having their child speedbag their scrotum during a play-fight.
The struggle is real.
If our visitor metrics are correct, we’ve got three people that read 8BitDad from within prison libraries. First of all, thank you! Second of all, we’re sorry that your sons are going to be dumb.
Before you petition for release and come kill me, please understand that this is science talking. Not 8BitDad…science.
A new study suggests that even when dads are prepared for (and intuitive about) fatherhood, their engagement with their new baby still depends on mom.
Professor Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan and her team at The Ohio State University found in their study of 182 expectant, dual-earner couples that dads are more heavily engaged with their infants specifically when mom is not.