The American family structure has been changing for decades. While this has brought about a lot of
positive results, it has also led to the blurring of traditional gender roles. With more women getting jobs
outside the home and bringing home bigger paychecks, men have had to adapt and find new fatherhood
In a society such as ours where it seems that fatherhood and masculinity are under constant attack, it’s
easy for dads to feel that their roles don’t matter. However, God’s original plan for the family hasn’t
changed and as a father, you should take heart.
Whether you’re a single-father, a stay-at-home dad, a step-father, adoptive or the primary family provider,
you matter. You have a God-ordained role in the life of your children and are a vital part of their well-
With all the emphasis placed on motherhood, fathers can sometimes feel like they’re just second adults in
the home. Instead of competing with the mother of your children for their attention, be confident in your
role and be assured that as long as you’re involved in their lives, you are important too.
Here are 5 reasons why fathers are essential:
1. They’re central to their children’s emotional well-being.
Studies have shown that fathers who are involved in their children’s lives have a huge positive impact on
their cognitive and social development. Children who come from families with affectionate and supportive
fathers have higher self-esteem, report higher feelings of satisfaction in life and also have better coping
mechanisms against stress and depression.
Fathers provide security and children often look to them to lay down rules and enforce them. They’re
often disciplinarians in the family and if this is done well, they instill a sense of morality, discipline, and
self-control in their kids.
2. Their roughhousing comes with a ton of benefits.
Mothers primarily focus on their children’s well-being and safety. They encourage their kids to play safe
and rarely push them to take on new risks. The story is different with dads.
Fathers often roughhouse with their kids from a young age. It might look risky, but it does have a range of
benefits including increasing the children’s physical fitness, making them smarter and increasing their
emotional intelligence. Best of all that horsing around gives children a whole new set of things to figure
out. They have to watch your next moves, read your body language, balance their own responses and
know how to play without hurting anyone. They’re also learning how to take calculated risks- a skill that
will hold them in good stead later in life.
3. Fathers influence their children’s relationships.
A father’s relationship with his children sets the bar for their relationships with others. Sons, for instance,
model themselves after their father’s character. They seek approval from their dads from a young age
and pick up cues on how men are meant to behave. If the father is loving, caring and respectful towards
others, the son is likely to end up much the same. The opposite is, unfortunately, also true though and if
the father is absent, the son will look to other male figures for clues on how to behave.
Daughters, on the other hand, depend on their fathers for emotional support and security. A father-
daughter relationship serves as a basis for how the girl will relate with other men in her life. Whether
consciously or not, daughters will look for men who have the same qualities and characteristics as their
fathers. Those traits are what they’re familiar with so they feel comfortable handling the same in their
relationships. For instance, if the father was loving, gentle and kind, his daughter will gravitate towards
those qualities in men when she starts dating.
4. They play a key role in protecting children from delinquent behavior.
Research has shown a rather surprising link between fathers and delinquent behavior in children. Multiple
studies have shown that paternal involvement is co-related with a lower incidence of teen delinquency
especially when it comes to some of the risk factors teens face such as truancy, smoking, alcohol, and
drug abuse. Furthermore, a father’s involvement in his kids’ lives has twice the influence of a mother
when it comes to reducing teen sex and early sexual activity in teenagers.
The more involved a father is in his teens’ lives, the more protective his influence will be. Since mothers
are almost always with their children their influence tends to wane, especially in the turbulent teen years.
Conversely, dad’s influence packs more punch because it’s unexpected and teens, especially boys, tend
to pay more attention.
Additionally, researchers found that the more attentive a dad is – the more knowledgeable he is about his
children’s activities and friends – the stronger his influence on his kids’ lives.
5. A father’s involvement in his children’s studies leads to better academic performance.
Another surprising discovery is how much your involvement in your child’s studies can boost their
academic performance. When fathers take an active role in their children’s education, those children
perform better in their studies, learn more and have healthy learning patterns. They also tend to have
better verbal and quantitative skills than their counterparts.
There are several ways to be involved in your children’s education- you can read to them from an early
age, take an interest in what they’re studying, help with homework and also keep an eye on their grades.
So the next time you feel redundant at home, remember that you, as a father, bring some unique
contributions to the parenting table and that you have an essential role to play.
Written by Tyler Jacobson
© 2016 MANLY TRAINING
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