Four Reasons Children, Society ‘Can’t Be Better Without’ Fathers

“Toddlers with involved fathers are better problem-solvers and have higher IQs by age 3,” Here are details of study by an Associate Professor of sociology at the University of Virginia


The significant presence of a father in a child’s life, puts all the negative traits that children often engage in at bay. A review of studies by the Father Involvement Research Alliance shows that babies with more involved fathers are more likely to be emotionally secure and confident in new situations. As they grow, they are more sociable. Toddlers with involved fathers are better problem-solvers and have higher IQs by age 3. They are more ready to start school and can deal with the stress of being away from home all day better than children with less involved fathers.

W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and Associate Professor of sociology at the University of Virginia says that fathers are as special as mothers. Their input in a child’s life differs from mothers in these four ways.

1. Playing

A father’s style of interaction with his children is often characterized by excitement, and unpredictability. Mothers on the other hand, may be more modulated, predictable and less arousing in their play. A father’s method of play simply engages the child more than mums, because mums act from a protective stance and will not knowingly engage in rough play with children 80% of the time, which is what children enjoy.

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“From these interactions, children learn how to regulate their feelings and behavior. Roughhousing with dad, for example, can teach children how to deal with aggressive impulses and physical contact without losing control of their emotions,” the study concluded.


2. Encouraging risk

Mothers tend to worry about their children’s safety and well-being, but on the other hand; fathers encourage their children to take risks. Psychologist Daniel Paquette‘s review found that dads are more likely to encourage their children to overcome obstacles, talk boldly and politely to strangers, and wander to the deep end during swimming lessons.

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3. Protecting

If you want to know how protective fathers can be, try hurting one who has a little girl. Perhaps it’s their size or strength, but fathers appear to be better at keeping predators and bad influences from harming their children. Psychologist Rob Palkovitz said in The Atlantic, “Paternal absence has been cited by multiple scholars as the single greatest risk factor in teen pregnancy for girls.” When fathers are more involved, they can better monitor what’s going on in their children’s lives, including interaction with peers and adults.

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4. Disciplining

Although mothers are often times the disciplanarians, fathers discipline with a firmer hand, even though a lot of times it is minimal. Fathers are more willing than mothers to confront their children and enforce discipline. It’s no wonder that most times, children have the impression that fathers have more authority than mothers. A mothers, on the other hand, will try to reason with their children and rely on kids’ emotional attachment to them to influence their behavior. Both parties may not have the same approach, but both strategies can be very effective in disciplining children.

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