Fathers role in child development is more important than you think

Father’s role? Raised eyebrows? Well of course I write this from a Indian/ Asian point of view, where mostly the gender roles are strongly defined, Mother being the gentle but affirmative guide and father looked upon as a provider and occasional disciplinarian. Though, pop culture has changed the way fathers are being portrayed - involved and participating, don’t get over pressurised  by the social media videos, where dads are dressing as princesses and playing tea party with their children. I do feel women, typically are better prepared for being a parent through years of social coercing, Guys however never really get that gentle easing-in to the idea of becoming a parent. No, none of our friends spoke about it, even while they had their own children, neither did our parents guide us.  Most of us landed on the job completely under prepared. 

A lot lesser has been credited and spoken about fathers and their role in early child development. One cannot deny the importance that a father plays in early child development and the most fundamental aspects of a father’s involvement are engagement with children, availability for them and responsibility to provide for a healthy development of the family. Studies time and again have shown increased success ratio, more inquisitiveness and emotionally balanced children in households where fathers play an active role in their development.  So today’s article I would like to share the importance of the role that fathers play and also because not many articles are available to guide dads.  

Involved Dad = Successful Children

Several reports and studies have shown that children with more involved fathers show signs of being emotionally secure and are confident in new situations from a very early age. They are more eager to explore their surroundings, become more sociable and become better problem solvers compared to their peers. Based on a study done by U.S Department of Education, it was found that children are more likely to earn better grades if their fathers were involved in their studies and regular curriculum activities. 

Everyday Activities are important

Involvement in everyday activities like eating dinner together, watching TV or engaging in play regularly, weighs higher than occasional trips or picnics. These consistent and regular activities contribute to children’s development as they experience more satisfaction and cohesion in their family through everyday core activities. 

Daddy’s approach is different

Not only does a father’s influence differ from a mother’s, but fathers also tend to do activities differently compared to moms. and this really gives children interactive experiences that are unique and diversified. Studies show that mothers often use verbal interaction with their children to accomplish tasks while fathers tend to engage  with the children in the task itself to accomplish it together. This helps children benefit from the different styles to hone multiple skill sets at the same time.

Even while playing, fathers are more likely to induce physical activities and create a scenery of excitement with modulated risk; and this helps children deal with different situations with a healthy balance of emotions and physical contact without losing control.

Discipling them your way

Although mothers discipline their children more often, fathers discipline kids with a firmer hand. This diversified manner of discipling kids really help in the emotional and mental growth of a child where he/she can understand the different ways people can reprimand or handle situations. This helps the child grow into a well balanced individual who can take control of situations and act in a well thought out manner rather than impulsivity.

This comes as a part of a series of articles on fatherhood and parenting. My next article will talk about the ways dads can interact with children on  a daily basis to create a well-harmonised and balanced relationship with their children. 

Meanwhile, please feel free to share your feedback, reactions and your own experience at jk@safarikidindia.com