Dads and their role in their family has been the subject of countless studies in the last 60 years. In fact at last count it was over 4000 of them. Often dad’s today wonder what their real role is and whether it really matters or not if they are involved in their children’s lives. They see their kids who are obviously more attached to their mothers and wonder if they really have that much influence in the bigger picture?
So why all these studies regarding Dads and their role? Well let’s just look at this from a historical perspective. The interest in dads and their role in their family started in the 1940’s and took off in the 1950’s. This makes sense because dads were in the war or national service at that time and absent from their families. After this studies looked at what happened to children as a result of having no father as dads were often killed in the war. Fast forward to the present day where the issue is still the same, dad’s being absent from their families however today the causes are due to divorce or long working hours.
To sum it up fast – Dad’s matter! They play a hugely important role in their children’s lives. It has been described as a ‘slow burn’ effect, where the mother is the most influential in the early years however dads come into their own as the years move by and by adolescent and early adult years their effect is quite clearly seen on their children’s lives.
Kids that have Dad’s who are “actively involved” we know have an advantage over kids with a distant or no relationship with their dads. What exactly is “actively involved” well it is if - you are interested in what has happened at their school, what they learnt today, what happened with their friends, you read to your child, you take your children out with you, you take an interest in their education and you take an role equal to mum in managing them. All these types of things show and tell your child that you are interested in them.
Children that have a father in their lives do far better at school and exams, have better relationships with other kids, have better romantic adult relationships, far less behavioural problems, actually it can be summed up as fewer problem overall as a teenager and as an adult.
It is overwhelming the amount of evidence that shows that it is the first 5 years that set all the building blocks for your child’s future. If they have a secure and active relationship with their father and this continues age 8, 10, 12 years of age the effect of dads is quite crucial to their child’s development. Did you know that if girls have this active relationship with their father for these ages puberty will be delayed by 5 years!!
So Dad’s don’t underestimate your role and influence in your children you offer a priceless and extremely significant part to play in your children’s lives and future life. The earlier you get involved the better..... Who ever decided long work hours were a good thing??