Lately, I’ve been reading several studies about a father’s impact on his child’s life. This quote from Scientific American Mind accurately sums up the current research:
Kids who have stable and involved dads are better off on nearly every cognitive, social and emotional measure researchers can devise. For instance, high levels of father involvement are associated with children who are more sociable, confident and self-controlled and less likely to act out in school or engage in risky behaviors in adolescence. (Scientific American Mind. Volume 21, Number 2. “Family Guy” by Emily Anthes)
According to the article, fathers were spending a little under 3 hours per week on child care in 1965; by 2000 the figure had reached 6.5 hours. Based on my personal, not scientific observations, I would estimate that dads spend at least twice that amount today.
I’m pleased to see that people are finally starting to realize how much dads really matter. Children need their father’s influence, support, and love. In addition to fulfilling these basic needs, kids need their fathers to provide the following 7 things: