It used to be that when it came to the children, it was Mum’s domain. Mothers would handle everything related to the children, except perhaps the really big disciplinary issues where Dad’s heavy-handed approach was required. Child-rearing has changed a lot since those days as fathers become more involved from a desire to form stronger relationships with their children. It is just as well because we are beginning to understand how important and significant the role of a father is.
Within the last several decades, though, scientists are increasingly realizing just how much dads matter. Just like women, fathers’ bodies respond to parenthood, and their parenting style affects their kids just as much, and sometimes more, than mom’s. – Livescience
Fathers may have made the choice to connect with their children out of a personal desire to strengthen their bonds, but science is showing that children can benefit greatly from their father’s attention.
Why Dads Matter
From Livescience – The Science of Fatherhood: Why Dads Matter…
- Behavior problems, delinquency, depression, substance abuse and overall psychological adjustment are all more closely linked to dad’s rejection than mom’s.
- Knowing that kids feel loved by their father is a better predictor of young adults’ sense of well-being, of happiness, of life satisfaction than knowing about the extent to which they feel loved by their mothers.
- Dad’s parenting style is more closely linked to whether teens will exhibit persistence than Mom’s parenting.
- Fathers who are most effective are those who listen to their children, have a close relationship, set appropriate rules, but also grant appropriate freedoms.
- Quality time with Dad is most important.
From Today Parents – How fathers affect kids’ behavior — and keep teens out of trouble:
- Children whose fathers played with them, read to them, took them on outings, and helped care for them had fewer behavioral problems in the early school years, and less likelihood of delinquency or criminal behavior as adolescents.
- Children with involved fathers were less likely to smoke as teenagers.
- For disadvantaged children born prematurely, those with engaged fathers had higher IQs.
- Children with absent fathers had more problems with peer relationships, were less less popular, and were less satisfied with their relationships with their friends.
- Children of fathers who engaged in the most physical and enjoyable play had the highest popularity ratings. They also had easier transitions to elementary school.
- Children whose fathers took turns being the one to suggest activities and showed an interest in the child’s suggestions grew up to be less aggressive, more competent, and better liked.
Involved fathers raise smarter children:
- when it comes to engaging boys with books, the key is reading with dads, uncles and grandfathers. – The Conversation
- children whose fathers spent more time with them had a higher IQ and the differences were still detectable by the age of 42. – The Telegraph
Daughters – Why Dads Matter
While we acknowledge the importance of Dad in the lives of our children, we should also be aware that Dad is equally important to sons and daughters. For daughters, fathers can have a profound impact on their daughters’ future relationships with men. Fathers who are actively engaged in their daughter’s lives can also affect their daughters’ academic and athletic achievements as well as their self-reliance and assertiveness.
The Bottom Line
Fathers have a huge impact on how children turn out – emotionally, socially, and academically. As much as we supermoms like to assume total control and responsibility, it is essential to our children’s well-being that we let Dad step up to the plate and give his time to his children so that he can build that vital relationship that will affect our children in the years to come.