Generally, dads don’t always get the credit they deserve. Even now, as more men are taking roles in the home, and more women are becoming breadwinners, people still tend to view dads as a second-rate mom. Children are still seen as the mother’s responsibility, and that’s a shame because fathers always matter. Yes, moms are great, but dads – whether they are still in the family home or whether the parents have separated – still have an essential role in parenting that can benefit a child greatly. Dads parent differently than moms, and a little variety is more useful and beneficial in rounding up the kids than most people give it credit for.
Here are some of the main reasons why children need a present father:
1. Your children can understand men better
As a dad, you represent all men for your young children. As the first and primary male influence in their lives, fathers need to set a positive example of how a man must act or become. This is especially important for boys after the age of six. This is when your son tends to have an idea of how to provide, protect, educate, and discipline. By showing how real men do housework, do their jobs, be independent, and be loving to his wife and kids, your young boys see a good example of what a good dad must be. They learn how to be a good man and a good dad when they are older, and they can understand how to treat women better.
The effect fathers have on daughters is strong, even more so than for the boys. When fathers are present, and they treat their daughter well, those girls develop higher self-esteem and go on to succeed. They are also less likely to settle for a bad relationship once they grow up because they would have a standard on how to expect to be treated. Girls will more likely choose a man who is likely to be a good father to their future children.
2. Your children can get in less trouble through your presence and discipline
It may be a cultural cliché, but it’s true – children with present or good enough dads in their lives are less likely to have disciplinary issues later in life. Dads often take the role of a disciplinarian, and as long as their discipline is firm and fair, their children will develop better. Moms tend to adjust the discipline to their child’s state of mind, while dads are more consistent and predictable with their brands of discipline.
A study has found that even from birth, involved fathers play a role to make their children emotionally secure, confident in their own surroundings, and have better social connections with their peers. This means the children are less likely to get in trouble at home, school, or in the neighborhood. It’s also supported by data from the Bureau of the Census that 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. Research also documents the direct correlation between the absence of fathers to higher rates of aggressive behavior in sons, and sexually precocious behavior in daughters.
3. Your children can learn to communicate better
Moms do a great job in shaping the communication skills of a child. They put a little more thought into expressing themselves and adjusts it to what their kids can understand. They also understand their children when others don’t. That’s a great help for kids, but it’s only half the battle. The way fathers communicate has a purpose too.
Generally speaking, fathers use a more complex language than their mothers do. Siblings often ask each other, “What did dad say?” Dads tend to give more directions, ask for more clarifications, and make more references to past events. This is crucial because it’s the exact kind of talk children are going to hear outside of their family, which will help them communicate better with other people.
Studies also suggest that kids with involved fathers are better at communicating with people outside their homes because they get to practice the skill with their dads. Children with involved dads are also more likely to have stronger and closer friendships because of better social skills.
4. Your children become more resilient and confident
Children end up growing to be more resilient and more confident when their dads are actively involved in their lives. The more dad spends time with their children; the tougher those kids can be. There are a lot of studies on this, but they all show many measures of self-confidence seems to go up when a child’s father is around.
Dads instill more of a sense of adventure and resiliency when dealing with stress. They deal with problems differently than mothers. Like for instance, when a child is feeling stressed and upset, the mother tends to comfort them and make them feel safe and loved. Meanwhile, fathers tend to comfort their children by trying to boost the child’s self-confidence through exploration. Fathers are the parents who are more likely to encourage or give a little push for their kids to try again and not give up on something. It doesn’t mean that the dads’ approach is better – both work together to serve a useful purpose in building a child’s confidence and resilience. Both parents play a big role in helping them grow up emotionally mature and well-adjusted to face the real world.
5. Your children will have enhanced self-esteem
As parents, you don’t have much control as you would like over your children’s lives. But for being present, the time and attention you invest in your kids can boost their sense of self-worth to make them grow as confident adults who are ready to change the world in their own unique way. When you invest time and hang out with your child, it gives a message that they are important. If you show that your child is worthy of your undivided attention – not just your job – your child will bask in the sense of his own importance.
Why is this important? It’s crucial for every person’s psychological well-being to have a healthy level of self-esteem. A person without self-esteem suffers from guilt, upset, and self-doubt even until adulthood, and it leads also to more problems in careers, friendships, romantic relationships, and more.
6. You will have more influence on your children
Moms have a lot of positive influence on kids, but dads create the longest-lasting impact. Your child will be exposed to so many influences as he/she grows older, but the closer the relationship you have with your child, the more likely your kid will continue to identify with you. In that position, you can instill your positive values to your child and increase the likelihood that it will be imitated. If you deal with your child with love and respect, instead of fear and anger, your child will more likely incorporate his sense of you as a father in himself/herself. Your children will act more like you, the more you spend time with them.
For boys, their dads become their standard of masculinity. The first thing they notice from their dads is how to treat a woman. When they grow up, they tend to emulate their parents’ marriage. If their parents fought a lot, got divorced when they were young, or had affairs, there’s a high chance that their marriages in the future will suffer the same. Surely, outside guidance and learning from other people can influence them not to do the same, but the stronger influence comes from the parents.
For girls, a loving connection with a father can go a long way. Because of it, she will be more likely to choose a man who will reflect your positive traits for her future life partner. It reduces the likelihood of teenage pregnancy and keeps them safe from abusive relationships.
7. Your children will end up more intelligent
Regardless of whether you have high or low IQ, just being involved in your children’s lives will result in them being smarter and more academically successful, which can lead to success and prosperity in their adulthood.
When dads have a keen interest in their child’s education, the children can get better results at school. It is important that a dad shows how vital education is to a child. In fact, one of the best ways for girls to achieve academically is having a father who believes in them. When a father believes in the child and is involved in their education, the child is more likely to get straight A’s, join extracurricular activities, and enjoy school overall.
A study involving more than 11,000 British fifty year-olds revealed that those people whose fathers have been heavily involved in their childhood had higher IQ scores. These people were also more socially mobile. The study suggests that having a second adult involved during childhood produces benefits in terms of intelligence, wisdom, abilities, and skills that endure throughout adult life.
8. Your children will excel in their abilities
The more you get involved in your children’s development, the more attuned you will be in sensing their abilities. Even if you want your kids to excel at math or science or sports, sometimes it’s just not for them. But if you spend time with them, you will discover their strength.
If you underestimate the competence of your child because you don’t know them, you won’t be able to provide adequate challenge or stimulation for them, and your child will get bored, and no skills will be improved. But if you overestimate, your child will be pressured by your unrealistic expectations and will have a frustrating or unpleasant experience from you. In either case, your child will be less motivated to interact with you.
But if you start building a relationship with them at a very young age, the more realistically you will be able to assess your children’s capabilities. You will become more aware of their particular talents, and you will discover what they enjoy doing. This way, you will have the opportunity to provide challenging and stimulating interactions for them so that they can excel in their skills and abilities.