Babies who look more like their dads are apparently healthier
Does your child look a whole lot more like their father? Are you secretly somewhat pissed about this? Well — according to a new study — it turns out that babies who resemble their dads will actually go on to live healthier lives.
So, you can now officially stop begrudging the fact that your kid did not seem to inherit a single bit of your genetic make-up. It’s apparently a good thing.
According to the study from Binghamton University, fathers are more likely to play an involved role in their child’s early life if they see a physical resemblance. This is pretty significant because an active father figure can boost a child’s mental health and lead to improved academic and social skills.
“We find a child’s health indicators improve when the child looks like the father,” Dr. Polachek, one of the study’s co-authors, explained. “The main explanation is that frequent father visits allow for greater parental time for care-giving and supervision, and for information gathering about child health and economic needs. It’s been said that ‘it takes a village’ but my coauthor, Marlon Tracey, and I find that having an involved father certainly helps.”
Alright, I know that this is all very scientific and we should not allow emotions to get involved, but it is kinda crazy that on some subconscious and narcissistic level, some dads need to see themselves in their child in order to be super present. Like, c’mon. We’re being great, present moms even though our kids clearly do not have our nose, hair color, or our cute half dimple. Not annoyed at all by these findings.
The study particularly focused on fathers who do not live with their child, and surveyed 715 families with mother-only households. “Those fathers that perceive the baby’s resemblance to them are more certain the baby is theirs, and thus spend more time with the baby,” Dr. Polachek noted.
Meanwhile, mothers don’t need such confirmation because they carried that baby in their womb for nine friggin’ months. There’s really no question marks on that one.
The study also suggested that efforts should be made to encourage fathers to participate in raising his child, whether it be through “parenting classes, health education, and job training to enhance earnings.”
“When both parents are involved, children have greater support—both physically and emotionally,” Dr. Kennedy-Moore said. “Everyone brings different strengths to being a parent, and having dad involved gives children access to a whole new set of those.”
Shout-out to all the moms being active parents even though their kids look nothing like them. They probably have your hilarious sense of humor which, let’s be real, is far more important.