5 Things You Didn’t Know Fathers Do

I wanted to share with you a list concerning fathers I found the other day.  As I have been studying and working on Courageous, I’ve been gathering a ton of information concerning the impact fathers have on their children.  Here are 5 things you didn’t know fathers do:

  1. Fathers Teach Empathy – A 26-year study published by the American Psychological Association found that children with actively involved fathers in their lives are more likely to be sensitive to the needs of others in adulthood compared to those who do not have involved fathers.
  2. Fathers Give Confidence – Fathers are more likely to challenge their children to try difficult things by taking safe and measured risks.  Fathers’ more physical and active play style and slower response to help their children through frustrating situations creates greater problem-solving capacity and confidence in both boys and girls.
  3. Fathers Increase Vocabulary – (And no, not that type of vocabulary)  Children who spend extended time with their dads during their childhoods are more likely to have larger and more complex vocabularies.  A mother, being more attentive to the needs of her children, tends to talk more on the level of the child.  Dads’ directions to their children tend to be longer than moms’, providing children with the opportunity to hear more words and then learn how they fit together to convey a thought.
  4. Fathers Protect Against Crime and Violence – Fathers are more likely to keep their sons out of gangs, but more importantly, fathers give boys the things that can make gang life attractive.  Boys learn from their dads that they matter, and don’t feel they have to force their way into manhood.  Likewise, girls with good fathers are not as likely to fall to the pressure of sexually enterprising young boys, because well-fathered girls are more confident, having already gained the love of a good man.
  5. Fathers Promote Better Treatment of Women – A good father demonstrates to both sons and daughters how a good man should treat women.  This is shown by a father’s role modeling, as well as his less-than-good behavior.  Research from the University of California looked at 90 different cultures to study how men’s participation in child care related to the status of women in these cultures.  They found a very close connection, explaining, “Societies with significant paternal involvement in routine child care are more likely than father-absent societies to include women in public decisions and to allow women access to positions of authority.”

(Summary of Study Findings, 2009 National Fathering Survey, © 2009 National Center for Fathering)

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