Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day Thought

Since we just finished celebrating Father’s Day, I thought the article below might be of interest:

Children whose parents talk to them about religion and where the parents regularly attend religious services were rated by both parents and teachers as having better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than children with non-religious parents, according to a study reported at However, if parents regularly argue about their faith, it has the opposite effect.

Researcher John Bartkowski, a sociologist who led the study at Mississippi State University, sees three reasons for the result:

(1) Religious networks provide social support to parents which can help improve parenting skills. Children who are brought into such networks and hear parental messages reinforced by other adults may also “take more to heart the messages that they get in the home.”

(2) The types of values and norms that circulate in religious congregations tend to be self-sacrificing and pro-family. These “could be very, very important in shaping how parents relate to their kids, and then how children develop in response.”

(3) Religious organizations imbue parenting with sacred meaning and significance.

One limitation of the study, Bartkowski points out, is that it did not compare how denominations differed with regards to their effect on the children.

From the Pastor’s Weekly Briefing, 4/26/07, Copyright © 2007, Focus on the Family
All rights reserved.

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