It’s that time of the year when we celebrate Father’s Day and the special man in our lives. When thinking about fathers and their influence on our lives, we are likely to see them assuming the roles of the protector, the provider, and the disciplinarian. That much is apparent as seen in this popular, anonymous Father’s Day quotes that states “A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.”
But fathers are all those roles and more. Think back to the time when we were toddlers standing on wobbly legs, we know that Dad will always be there to catch us if we tumble. Dads play a key role in preparing children for success in school and life, and can help make an even greater involvement with their participation in early childhood education.
Fathers are great role models and an irreplaceable figures in children’s lives. This Father’s Day, we celebrate fathers around the world for everything they do for their families. Let’s take a closer look into how fathers positively transform their children’s lives and learning for the better.
Dads matter — a lot
An engaged father has a much larger impact on children than one may expect. Studies show that children who grew up with actively involved fathers display better cognitive, motor, and verbal skills. Interestingly, this influence fathers have on their children can start as early as infancy. When fathers are nurturing and playful with their babies, it is proven to help in child development. Not only do their children have a likelihood to develop higher IQs, but they also show improved problem-solving skills and speaking skills. It is undeniable that fathers have a central and unique role to play in their children’s development.
Advice for fathers:
Spend regular time with your children and ask them about their day. Get them to share their favourite moments in school, what kind of food they had that day, and more. This gives them the chance to speak and for you to share their joys with them.
Children with active fathers excel academically, especially math
The impact of positive father involvement affects children in more ways than you think. In a study done by the US Department of Education, children with engaged fathers have a 43% higher chance of achieving A’s in school, and are 33% less likely to repeat a year compared to children without involved fathers.
Most importantly, such positive effects extend to children’s performance in math too. When fathers dedicate more time to activities like storytelling and playing with their children, it leads to improved reading and math scores for the child. Henry Biller, known for his extensive research work on fatherhood and its effects, noted that children with involved fathers show higher confidence and proficiency at solving complicated mathematical and logical puzzles.
What about girls? For dads with daughters, they have an influential role to play when it comes to determining their daughters’ interest in math! Findings from a University of Michigan study show that fathers’ attitudes towards genders will affect their daughters’ choices to study math and science.
Advice for fathers:
So dads, if you want to give your child a boost in their academic work, spending quality time with your child during their childhood is one of the best ways you can help.
Children with active fathers show better school readiness
Do you know that engaged fathers can have positive effects on boosting their children’s school readiness? School readiness encompasses a range of behaviours and abilities that allow children to adapt well to school and make the most of their educational opportunities. Being school ready is vital for children’s long-term academic success.
Children with active fathers are found to possess the qualities that help them succeed in the classroom. This group of children reflects more qualities that are critical for learning, such as showing more patience, improved focus, and are better at sustaining interest in their own work. Having active and involved fathers is also linked with positive traits such as showing kindness and being responsible.
Advice for fathers:
If you’re a dad who’d like to start, doing shared book reading with your children helps. Find an illustrated book for your child to read, and praise them when they’ve done well!
Active fathers boosts children’s overall health and emotional well-being
Picture this: on a lovely Saturday morning, you come in and… challenge your son to wrestle! Both you and your son tumble, roll around and play-fight on the bed until you tickle him and he bursts into laughter. This kind of rough and tumble play is one of the most memorable ways fathers play with their kids, and both sons and daughters benefit! Fathers are known for more active play that children love. Father child play is shown to be linked with improved socio-emotional abilities in children.
Rough and tumble play is just one out of many examples dads can play with their kids. With involved fathers, children experience improved overall well-being and emotional regulation. They show enhanced social competency, enjoy better relationships with friends, and are better at self-regulating their emotions.
Advice for fathers:
Know that fathers parent differently from mothers, and that is completely okay. In fact, this has its own set of benefits, and this is why we need paternal parenting. Guide your children and encourage them when they face challenges. Be the fun play-mate that they need. Some rough and tumble play is good for the kids, so leave some time on a nice weekend morning to have a play-fight!
Dear Dads, You’re the Superhero in our Hearts
Dads, don’t underestimate the impact you have on your children. Fatherhood is essential for healthy child development in areas from academic work to emotional well-being. Fathers also provide valuable guidance, discipline, and love that shape their children’s growth and life. Today, we honour fathers and the sacrifices and contributions they’ve made. Fathers are like no other. As a dad, you are the biggest superhero in your children’s eyes. Wishing all fathers happiness and joy this Father’s Day!