When it comes to parenting it can sometimes feel like fathers are second best. Depictions of dads in popular culture push the stereotype of fathers as incompetent, emotionally disconnected, “secondary” parents who are not nearly as important to their children as their mothers. As a result, Fathers are often pressured to take a backseat when it comes to being involved with raising their kids and can face ridicule for things like admitting that they help change diapers or expressing an interest in taking paternity leave. In reality, although a mother’s love is important and special, having an active father figure plays an equally important role in the healthy development of a child.
Here are 5 important ways fathers impact child development:
1. Increase Intellect.
Dad might be a bit of a goofball, but an active father can help increase your child’s emotional intelligence and problem-solving capabilities. Studies show that children with fathers who were actively involved throughout the 1st year of their child’s life perform better on cognitive development assessments and demonstrate an increased capacity for curiosity and exploration. Children raised with active dads tend to score higher on verbal and math tests and are less likely to drop out of school or commit juvenile crimes.
2. Boost Confidence.
The emotional support provided by a father to his child is a priceless gift. By helping kids to understand how much they are valued and loved, children with supportive fathers are more likely to have high self-esteem and are generally happier and more confident. They also demonstrate a greater tolerance for stress/frustration, less hesitation/fear in new situations and an increased ability to resist peer pressure and stand up for themselves.
3. Someone To Look Up To.
Fathers provide a positive male role model for their children and help to promote/reinforce good behaviors. As a result, children with more involved fathers tend to have fewer behavioral and impulse control problems, longer attention spans and a higher level of sociability. These children also tend to be more compassionate and generous, with an increased awareness of the needs and rights of others.
4. Provide A Different Perspective.
Children are naturally full of questions, and mothers and fathers approach those questions in different ways. Active parents with different approaches to parenting can be a great way to expose children to a broad range of thinking and problem-solving. Active fathers have a unique opportunity to share their perspective on life and teach their kids valuable life skills!
5. Feel The Love!
It’s the most obvious thing to say, but that doesn’t make it any less important – having an active father makes a child feel loved! Having dad as a steady source of love and encouragement helps ensure that children grow up happy and healthy, with high self-esteem.
Being an active father is one of the most important things you can do for your child. If you’re a new dad or just want to learn more about how you can make a positive impact on your child’s life, check out some of our parenting classes (480-834-9424) for more individualized training and support! Child Crisis Arizona provides resources to families via no-cost parenting classes, workshops, support groups, family events and more!