Good day everyone!
A dear follower (Thank you Tom) gave me some information that worked out as inspiration for this post.
We all know that men and women belong to the same species but we are very different from one another, not only because of all the chemistry and physiological differences, but also because of the way we are programmed to function.
For the past 2 centuries child up bringing has been mainly attributed to the mother, the father has basically been the provider (of course with all the exceptions). If we take a look at evolution, this phenomenon has been the primordial reason why humans have survived all these years.
Nowadays, there has been a new evolution going on that involves men learning emotional competence: “refers to one’s ability to express or release one’s inner feelings (emotions). It implies an ease around others and determines one’s ability to effectively and successfully lead and express. it is described as the essential social skills to recognize, interpret, and respond constructively to emotions in yourself and others.” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_competence) in order to relate to their kids and partners. I was reading a very interesting article that I found on William´s Harryman Blog : The Masculine Heart , that explained how studies reveal that Emotional Competence can be learned (http://masculineheart.blogspot.com/2011/12/can-emotional-competence-be-learned.html).
In the article it states that: ” According to a new study, emotional competence (EC), the ability to understand, manage, express and use emotions, is a skill that can be learned. There are three levels of EC that affect every area of one’s life, knowledge, focus and ability. Knowledge is how much an individual understands about their own emotions. Focus is how well someone is able to manage their emotions and emotional responses. And Ability refers to how a person uses their emotional knowledge to cope with a specific situation in order to achieve a desired outcome. “At a psychological level, higher trait EC is associated with greater well-being and higher self-esteem as well as a lower risk to develop psychological disorders,” said Delphine Nelis of the Department of Psychology at the University of Liege in Belgium, and lead author of the study. “Socially, higher ability–trait EC is related to better social and marital relationships and, all things being equal, to a greater likelihood of being chosen as a romantic partner. Work wise, higher trait EC is associated with greater academic achievement and higher ability–trait EC is associated with higher job performance,” said Nelis. “Ability–Trait EC is also linked to the likelihood of adopting unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking, and reckless driving.”
Because of the deleterious consequences poor EC can have, Nelis wanted to know if adults could improve their EC, and if so, what implications that would have on their lives. “To this end, we designed an 18-hour intervention that focused on teaching theoretical knowledge about emotions and on training participants to apply specific emotional skills in their everyday lives,” said Nelis. “Sessions were centered on the four core emotional competencies: identification, understanding, regulation, and utilization.” Nelis found that the participants saw significant long-term improvement in EC as a result of the sessions. “Six months after the intervention, participants in the training group were more extroverted, more agreeable, and less neurotic. We also showed that the development of EC paired with positive changes in psychological well-being, subjective health, quality of social relationship, and work success.” Nelis added, “These findings bring hope to people who have not had the opportunity to develop their EC as children. With motivation, effort, and guidance, such individuals can still improve their EC later in life, and thereby enhance their adjustment in many domains of life.”
Could this be a very important advantage that single fathers can develop in order to raise their kids? I think so because this does not mean that a man stops being masculine just because he gets in touch with his feelings and he tries to effectively express them. It is easier if we look at it just a shift in masculinity , not the end of it.
Going back to my initial thoughts , it is very interesting to see how on the past decades men have accomplished to get involved and successfully change the preconceived idea of the provider alpha male.
On The Good Men Project ( http://goodmenproject.com/) I found a great article with really helpful information for parents and specially fathers that are not scared to acknowledge that the evolution of the genders and its roles is happening now. There is this post called: ” Is Society Neutering the Men in Our Nation?” , where I found this great quote: “Over the past century, gender roles have blurred, leading to some women developing more masculine qualities by necessity – think World War II, when they had to take the men’s place in factories – and some men developing stronger feminine qualities, like sensitivity and compassion.”
Please take a moment to read the complete post (http://goodmenproject.com/gender-sexuality/is-society-neutering-the-men-in-our-nation/), because it will give you really good information about this topic.
As for me , learning all this is more than helpful because it makes me feel more comfortable about being a single dad and being true about the way I can express my feelings to my little angel. I believe this evolution is more a re-volution that will not only help single parents but also all the women out there that often feel left alone on the parenting issue.
It does not matter how you name it: emotional intelligence , emotional competence , shift in masculinity , getting in touch with your inner feelings , it does not matter because at the end of the day the only thing that prevails when raising or expecting a baby is all the LOVE that as parents we are able and willing to give.
Thanx for reading , I hope you enjoyed.
Have a good one!
Photo – http://goodmenproject.com/misc/paternal-instinct/.