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COVID-19: Pandemic brought some unexpected benefits

It’s been difficult to find many bright spots as the country has been moving through various stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

But one of them is that more dads are connecting with their kids like never before.

As many parents work from home, it’s brought some clear challenges. Not only are they doing their regular job duties, but taking on roles of child care provider and teacher as their kids stayed home and did remote school work.

But it’s also brought benefits. With kids and parents more often staying close to home, time slowed down. No running to myriad activities, fewer shopping and entertainment trips.

For fathers, in particular, the stay-at-home orders created new bonding opportunities with their kids. Rather than coming home from work at the end of the day, perhaps tired and stressed, and finding their wife tired and stressed from her day at work, dads spent days sharing their children’s lives.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education studied the effects of family relationships during the quarantine and found that dads felt more connected and closer to their kids.

Senior lecturer and faculty director Richard Weissbourd said almost 70% of dads reported they were feeling closer to their kids because of the new dynamics of being at home.

The report, which will be published soon, found that a majority of dads also said their kids were sharing more about their feelings and that the dads were sharing more of their feelings with their kids.

Let us hope that as life begins to return to a more normal routine that the lessons learned about the importance of a father’s relationship with his kids remains.

— The Free Press of Mankato

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