Child Development

How important is a Fathers role in child development?

Father’s day just passed by and what is more important than a role of a father in a child’s life? Love from your father is not something you can compare or debate upon, it is no less than a mother’s love, there is no bounds. When they come together a child’s life is complete. Contrary to mothers, fathers can be more active and practical when it comes to caring for their kids. Their approach to parenting is on a completely different level.

Fathers play a significant role in the emotional development of the child, and is as important as mothers for child development. Fathers have a unique way of interaction with their kids, there is a little bit of playfulness, jokes and drama, they generally have a different style of communication with children, which is something kids can identify rather quickly. When it comes to nurturing them, kids who roughhouse with their dad’s learn that certain forms of physical violence is improper. Children are taught the importance of self-discipline and how to calm themselves down during stressful situations. Daughters and sons learn to maintain a healthy balance between fearfulness and anger.

To be the father of growing daughters is to understand something of what Yeats evokes with his imperishable phrase ‘terrible beauty.’ Nothing can make one so happily exhilarated or so frightened: it’s a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else’s body. It also makes me quite astonishingly calm at the thought of death: I know whom I would die to protect and I also understand that nobody but a lugubrious serf can possibly wish for a father who never goes away.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

A child’s relationship with his/her father can determine their future relationships with their friends, spouses and how they interact with the opposite sex. A father’s involvement in a child’s growth, makes a significant difference in the child’s development. Let me give you an example, at school, during my weekly dictation tests, two students in my class don’t score well most of the time, and it is not very surprising because, that’s how I know their fathers are out of town or out for business, because these two kiddos are very close to their dads. When their dad’s help them in their test preparation, that week both the kids tend to score the best in their tests, it’s not that they aren’t comfortable with their moms, certain aspects of a child’s life are best handled by their dads. Both of my students tend to do better when their father is around and perform better.  The whole point is that, fathers have a certain way of dealing with their children, which the child appreciates and finds comfortable.

Father’s role begins right from the start of pregnancy, from supporting the mother. When the baby is in the womb, depending on how involved the father is during this period, there is a bond happening between the father and the baby. Later the attachment develops after the baby is born by taking up certain acts like carrying the baby, sleeping with the child, hugging, etc. During the initial stages of the child’s growth it is very imperative for the mother to encourage the father to take part in certain activities of child caring and nurturing.

Fathers build confidence and encourage children to take up activities and challenges by teaching them how to step up the game, take risks, soar higher and how to rise up when you fall.  While mothers protect, fathers take their kids to a whole new level. Both Mother and Father’s parenting styles are equally important for the development of the child at its best and both at its extremes can be unhealthy for the growth and development of the child.

The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature.” 

― Prevost Abbe, Manon Lescaut