A father’s calling is eternal, and its importance transcends time.”

-President Benson

After reading a couple articles and reflecting on the importance of fatherhood for a paper, I thought I’d share some insights on why we need dads.

 

  1. A father’s effects are wide ranging on their children.

Even before children are born, fathers have the ability to strengthen development in their children when they take on an active role in their lives. They contribute so much to their children’s development. They influence social-emotional development, intellectual development, language development, and motor development. The more involved a father is in their child’s life, the more likely the child is to succeed. I thought this statement was interesting-“Research shows that the value of father involvement is determined by the quality of the interaction between fathers and their children-rather than the amount of time father spend with their children.”

  1. Father’s role in social-emotional development.

According to studies from the Father Involvement Research Alliance, babies with involved fathers are more emotionally secure, confident, and curious. As they grow past toddlerhood, they are more prepared and have an easier time going away to school. Throughout development, they are more social. Other studies by the FIRA found that teen girls with involved fathers have higher self esteem, while teen boys are less aggressive, less impulsive, and have more self-direction. Physical play with dad can teach how to control emotions and aggression in intense situations. As they grow, young adults with involved fathers tend be more self accepting and have a higher psychological well-being. In adulthood, those with involved dads are more understanding, have more success in close relationships with friends, and have more long-term successful marriages.

  1. Father’s role in intellectual development.

Early involvement of father’s has been found to correlate with children having higher IQ scores, and better language and learning skills. Play with dad allows for children to develop cognitively by solving their own problems, exploring, being creative, and increasing and developing independence. Studies show that children with involved fathers are 43% more likely to earn A’s. As young adults, they are more likely to reach higher levels of education and be successful in their careers.

  1. Father’s role in language development.

The way a father talks to his child challenges their language skills and teaches them about social exchange. Fathers tend to ask more questions for clarification, which increases conversation. One study found that if a father reads to his daughter, she is more likely to have better vocabulary skills. Another study found that if fathers were to use varied vocabulary; their children were more likely to have better language skills the next year.

  1. Father’s role in motor development.

Thinking back to your own childhood, or watching a father and mother, you can see that the way they play with their children is different. Fathers tend to be more rough/physical, with more one-on-one play. This play increases motor development and helps children find the capabilities of their bodies. Fathers are more likely to encourage exploration and curiosity, which allows for more motor-developing growth.

A father’s role is crucial in the lives of his children. Above explained some developmental reasons why a father is so needed, but the reasons don’t stop there.

  1. Father’s role in Spiritual Development

This wasn’t in the article, but it is the role of fatherhood I think of most. As a father takes on his Priesthood responsibilities and his role to preside, he provides his children with opportunities to gain a testimony and love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He helps them realize that they truly are sons and daughters of God, and that He has a plan for them. He helps them learn to pray and helps as they seek to recognize revelation and answers to their prayers. His testimony of the Book of Mormon and Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be a foundation for their own developing testimonies. Dad’s always was for me.

“Noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of the divine.” 

-James E. Faust

I am so indebted to my own dad who has played such a part in who I am and in who I am becoming. Also, to righteous grandpas, uncles, cousins, brothers, friends, and leaders whose example and influence I treasure. Guys, don’t underestimate the influence of your love, your care, and your time in the lives of your children and others. Thanks for being so good.

Resources

Hunt, Amy and Scott, William. “The Important Role of Fathers in the Lives of Young Children.” Parents as Teachers. 16      November 2011. Web. 6 July 2015.

Loyd, Skye. “Why Kids Need Their Dads.” Parenting. Web. 6 July 6, 2015.

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