Being a father is a wonderful experience. Children depend on their fathers for love, guidance and support, and their future successes strongly depend on these relationships. Like mothers, fathers have the power to support their children's early development in a positive way.
Children who have strong relationships with their fathers during the first two years of life are more likely to feel secure and supported. For this reason, these children are braver about exploring their surroundings and facing life's unexpected challenges.
Fathers play a big role in many different parts of their children's lives:
Ability to Learn: Children's reading and communication skills are strongly affected by the amount of time their fathers spend reading to them.
Compassion: As adults, children are more likely to show kindness and compassion for others if they were treated with kindness and compassion by their fathers.
Self-Control: Children will grow up to have higher self-esteem, more self-control and make better decisions if their fathers are involved in raising them in a loving and supportive way.
Mother Encouragement: When fathers partner with mothers in caring for their children, mothers do very well in their roles because they feel like they are supported. Because of this, mothers are warmer, more patient and are more likely to meet their children's needs.
Sibling Relationships: Children feel more secure and will have stronger connections to their brothers and sisters if they can depend on their fathers for love and encouragement.
The bond fathers create with their children starts the moment they are born and lasts a lifetime. Every moment fathers spend with their children helps toward building this bond. Examples of what fathers can do to spend quality time with their children include simple everyday things such as reading books, playing, eating meals together and talking with their children.
Source: Focus on Fathers (2004). What a Difference a Dad Makes: Being a Dad is a Marvellous Opportunity by Ed Bader and Noel Cooper.
Fathers who are involved in their family's lives can help toward building their children's self-esteem, while giving them the skills they need to succeed in life and become happy, responsible adults.