Moms are often known as the “primary parent” to children, but it is important not to discount the important roles Dads play in child development and play.  In fact, according to a 2011 report titled “Fathers and Their Impact on Children’s Well-Being,” children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and as they grow older, have better social connections.  Studies have also found that children with active fathers have better educational outcomes, better verbal skills, and higher intellectual functioning.



So how do fathers impact their child’s development?  There are six distinct ways where a father’s influence makes a difference.

  • Increased Intellect: an active dad will emphasize conceptual communications, which helps kids to expand their vocabulary. With an expanded vocabulary, kids tend to seek more information which only adds to their intellect.


  • Boost Confidence: dads are more likely to encourage competition, independence and risk-taking, all of which gives kids the chance to push themselves when they otherwise might not think they can. By trying new things or trying harder, kids often find that inner confidence they didn’t know they had that they can do it!


  • Positive Male Role Model: by promoting positive behaviors, fairness and the willingness to try, dads become a person their kids can really look up to.


  • Provide a Different Prospective: there is no doubt a dad will answer a kids question very differently than mom would. By giving these alternative viewpoints, it exposes children to different ways of looking at the same problem.


  • Safe Place to Play Rough: children are more likely to turn to mom when they are upset and need comfort whereas when the are looking to play, they will turn to dad. Father’s are more likely to encourage physical rough and tumble play.  They see play as amusing and entertaining, which leads to experiences outside the typical instructive play mothers tend to prefer.


  • Feel Love: while dad’s are more likely to stress rules and discipline, they do so in way that still lets a child know they are loved and appreciated. Father involvement has been found to be the number one factor in developing empathy in children, according to a 26 year study published I the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.




Children who are raised with both an involved mother and father are able to get the best of both worlds.  Each parent has significantly different parenting styles, which helps the child to expand their experiences and opinions of the world around them.  It is important to remember that fathers are more then bread winners, they also bring positive benefits to their children no other person is likely to bring.






Blog submitted by WarmLine Member Donna Chaffee