An abundance of research shows the many ways children benefit from involved fathers, especially during their earliest developmental years. Kids who grow up with engaged dads have stronger cognitive, motor and verbal skills, increased confidence and attachment, enter school better prepared to learn and make wiser life choices.
Why? A major reason is that fathers parent differently than mothers, particularly in the way they communicate and interact with their kids. Dads tend to ask more questions and use more complex language, which challenges children’s’ linguistic abilities and builds vocabulary and social skills. They play more one-on-one, “roughhousing” games that develop motor skills, build confidence and encourage kids to take risks. And they discipline differently, tending to focus on fairness and justice.
Children who experience both moms’ and dads’ parenting styles have a richer childhood and are better prepared to build successful lives as adults. And, the good news is that an involved father figure, whether it’s the biological dad or not, can make a positive, enduring impact on a young child’s life.
Check out these two articles on how fathers differ from mothers and why it’s so beneficial for kids:
In honor of dads and their day, here are a few of our past blog posts looking at the significant, unique roles they play in their children’s lives.
10 ways children benefit from involved fathers
How fathers’ engagement contributes to their children’s development
Child Trends: Five ways fathers matter
Father’s Day celebrates heroes
The daddy factor (video)