5 Ways Dads Make a Huge Difference

Celebrating the power of fathers everywhere.

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Dads are awesome! The moment a man becomes a father, he is central to a child’s life. From the first tender embrace of a newborn to that encouraging push behind the two-wheeler bike, dads make their children feel protected and also enable them to fly freely into independence.

Dad's roles are growing in almost unimaginable ways. And with more moms at work, many dads are playing more pivotal roles in the family. In fact, their influence is now as great as that of mom, according to the American Psychological Association

Behind every great person is a great father, because dad is central to who his child will grow up to be. In honor of Father’s Day, here are five ways dads make a huge difference in shaping their children’s lives.

Dads influence relationships

When a dad is there to nurture a child early on, he is establishing a positive pattern of interaction that lasts for life. According to the Huffington Post, this affects all relationships including future friends, lovers, and spouses.

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Is it well known that women are attracted to men who pattern their dads. This is because they like men who offer a feeling that is familiar, reminding women of warm experiences with dad while growing up.

Dads determine cognitive skills

Just being a good dad influences children’s cognitive growth as toddlers and as successful students later on. A study in the Infant Mental Health Journal shows this all begins as soon as infancy. Looking at babies from three to 24 months, the study found that those whose fathers were more sensitive and engaged scored higher on the Mental Developmental Index.

As babies grow up and enter school, children whose dads are actively involved in their lives get higher grades, according to the Huffington Post. As for daughters, girls who have a good relationship with their dads often receive higher grades in math.

A father lies on the floor reading a book to his two children.

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Dads influence a son’s emotional stability

If you do well under stress, chances are you had a strong bond with your dad, according to a study from the American Psychological Association. This study, done on hundreds of adults, shows that men who had good relationships with dad were less emotional when dealing with stress.

A father hugs his baby.

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Fathers improve a child’s self-esteem

Dads build confidence. This can be seen at the local playground where a dad will encourage his child to climb higher, run faster, or throw harder, as observed in the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center. Moms may be cautious, but involved dads will push their children to the limit and show them how far they can stretch.

This support, involvement, and affection a dad provides impacts their child’s sense of worth. A study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology looked at children aged 10 through 18. They found that the development of self-esteem in those with warm and positive father-child relationships was statistically significant. Just being a warm dad resonates for years to come!

A father holds his daughter on his shoulders, both of them wearing empowering superhero capes.

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Dads teach empathy

The father is the first “other” in a child’s life, according to The Dad Difference. By a father offering his child security, the child is then stimulated to get to know different people.

A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology looked at the same children for 26 years, from the ages of 5 through 31. It revealed that paternal involvement in child care was the most important factor in developing empathy.

Dad, you do not have to be perfect to help your child develop empathy, you just have to be there, have fun, and be you!