Despite all of society’s advances over the past century, men are still — too often — viewed by some as their own children’s “babysitters”; when in actuality, research supports the irreplaceable role they play in their everyday lives.
Chelsea Clinton recently helped unveil a first-of-its-kind report on fatherhood at the United Nations. The “State of the World’s Fathers,” produced by MenCare and its partners, analyzed hundreds of global studies on fatherhood that show why and how fathers matter.
We partnered with Johnson & Johnson to share findings from the report on global fatherhood, as well as from several other studies that examine the powerful and enduring influence fathers can have on their children.
1. Their kids play well with others
Playful and affectionate interaction with fathers is shown to predict a child’s positive social-emotional involvement with others.
2. Their partners and babies are healthier
The involvement of fathers before, during and after the birth of a child has been shown to have “lasting benefits,” including positive effects on maternal and newborn health, from increased prenatal and postnatal health-care visits, to more successful breastfeeding, to higher likelihoods parents will seek out immunizations and care for childhood illnesses.
3. Their children are more prepared for school...
Toddlers with involved fathers begin school with higher levels of academic readiness, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
4. …And go on to be more successful academically
When fathers are involved in their education, children not only do better at school, they are also more likely to graduate and achieve higher levels of career and economic success.
5. Their children start speaking earlier and are more verbally expressive
A father’s linguistic interactions with a child at an early age is strongly related to the development of his or her language skills.
6. Their children grow up less prone to depression
Paternal involvement has been linked to lower rates of depression, fear and self-doubt in fathers’ young-adult children.
7. Their sons are less likely to be in trouble
The rates of delinquency from school are lower among boys whose fathers actively participate in their care.
8. Their daughters are more ambitious in their careers...
A father’s approach to household chores was a strong predictor of professional ambitions in daughters when they grew older, a University of British Columbia study found last year.
9. …And have a more positive self-image
Young women with engaged fathers also had higher overall opinions of themselves, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families also has reported, along with higher reported levels of self-esteem.
Image: Amber Katrina Photography
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