Reasons why fathers are important
When I see someone who has made bad choices in life the first thing I ask is what was their family life like.
Are mom and dad happily married?
If mom and dad are divorced is the father in the picture?
If the answer is no and no then it doesn’t surprise me. More often than not kids make bad decisions because they are missing that male role model in their life.
Having a father in the picture can mean the difference between a child going to college or a child going to jail. It’s not quite that drastic but the chances of kids being successful are so much higher when a father is involved in their life.
Fathers are important. Fathers are needed. A society that discards its fathers as simply genetic contributors is bound to fail. Here are some reasons why fathers are important:
Can make a difference early in a child’s vocabulary
Dads who are involved with their babies and toddlers are more likely to introduce new words and ask questions. While moms are important to a child’s development their typical interaction is reinforcing the known words that the child already speaks.
Dads who are more likely to be the working parent of the two may come home and ask questions of the young child or tell them stories of their day to help increase the range of words they are exposed to.
Involved dads can significantly increase a child’s future success
- By being involved with your children they are significantly more likely to get good grades in school
- there is a lower chance that they will have to repeat a grade
- They are less likely to be expelled or suspended from school
- Twice as likely to go to college
- Teen pregnancies are significantly reduced in houses where dads are involved
Fathers provide a sound basis for emotional development
Even though this role has started to shift to both parents most dads are the ones to come up with rules and then enforce those rules. By being the bad guy we provide the groundwork for following rules and the mother can be the nurturer (good guy) when a child is in trouble.
One of the worst things my mom would ever say to me was “wait until your father comes home”. I don’t know why it scared me. My dad rarely ever had to punish me because typically all it would take is my mom making that statement and I would straighten up. I think the idea of disappointing my dad was worse than any punishment he could give me.
Fathers influence how a child views relationships
One of the greatest things my father could ever teach me was how to show love to others. The way he treated and loved me and my brothers has influenced how I treat and love my boys. His relationship with my mom has also influenced me greatly in how I perceive and act in my relationship with my wife.
Boys will always look to their dads on how they should act and behave. If the father is missing they will look and reach out for another father figure. And that father figure they look up to may not be the role model they need in their life.
Daughters will also look up to their fathers in the category of how they treat their mothers. This is the basis of expectations they will have when looking for their own spouse. If a dad is missing this crucial father-daughter bond can cause a lifelong search of a woman trying to find a “dad” instead of a spouse.
Fathers help balance out parenting
No matter how much we try dads cannot be moms. And no matter how much they want to be moms cannot be dads. It doesn’t work. My kids do this quite often. They will just basically ignore my wife. She can be on them non-stop to do something. Then I step in and the situation changes.
But this isn’t only about dads. The same balance is needed the other way. Sometimes dads can be cold and harsh in their rules and judgment. So they need a nurturing mother to console them.
Normally dads also are the more sports-oriented person in the relationship. They are more likely to take the role of teaching a kid how to hit their first ball, dribble a basketball, or ride a bike. Moms can take up this mantle also but without a dad, the mom has to take all of this on herself.
Fathers encourage risk-taking (healthy risks)
People like to think that their friends encourage them to do stupid things. But more than likely it was your dad that was the first to encourage you to do something that was dangerous. Well at least perceived to be dangerous.
Have you ever seen a dad throw their kid really high in the air? Moms love to freak out when this happens. But there is something deeper happening here and it is building an adventurous spirit in the child.
Also, dads like to rough house with their kids. This helps promote healthy conflict, helps kids be more social and independent, and is a way to help them with their morals.
Fathers are good at encouraging hobbies and sports
When growing up my dad always encouraged me to do sports. I wasn’t very athletic but he always pushed me toward pursuing my dreams to play baseball and soccer.
Most dads love to play sports. And even if they don’t love to play them they love to see their children succeed in doing something they are passionate about.
Fishing was always another hobby that my dad and I shared. He always took me and he taught me everything he knows. I passed that on to my own kids and my youngest son literally drags me to go fishing.
Fathers provide a foundation for success
Dads are more than likely to be the main wage earner in every household. A father that is involved and strives for success will instill that drive into their children.
All of my boys see my success in my career and want to follow in my footsteps. There are times I will try to push them to do something different but they always come back to what I do.
Fathers provide protection
Men from a biological standpoint are typically taller and have more muscle mass than women. It’s the reason why the Olympics have women’s sports and men’s sports. The men would dominate the women if they were all competing together.
Fathers can provide protection by use of this to protect and ward off any outside attacks. And this may not be a physical attack. It could be a mental attack or someone trying to take advantage of your kids.
Fathers also protect their homes. They are typically the ones responsible for babyproofing the house and doing repairs to make sure everyone is safe. In my house, if there is a noise outside or the dog is barking I am the one that gets asked to check it out.
Fathers pass on wisdom and advice
Fathers are more likely to pass on stories, wisdom, and advice to their children. We take the hard knocks that we learned from doing the wrong thing and teach our children what not to do. And occasionally when we do the right thing we also pass that information along.
We teach our sons the wisdom of keeping a wife happy and the dos and don’ts of married life. But sometimes we also teach our kids a few tricks that might get them in trouble.
Fathers can provide a good example
Not all fathers are good examples. But for those that are present every day and do the things that must be done, they set an example that many generations can follow.
My mom would always cook when I grew up but my dad would occasionally step in and help ease that burden. And it was more than just him grilling some meat. He would fix other meals and help take care of us when needed.
I try to live my life the same way. Even though my wife can cook typically I take care of the cooking. Why? She watches the children while I cook, she does the laundry, she cleans the kitchen, and she works a full-time job. It seems only reasonable after seeing how my father helped my mom. That I should help my wife.
This example leads to my children understanding the balance and teamwork that we put together. And when they get married, they will have that example to carry over into their life.
Fathers help strengthen the family unit
I don’t know too many parents that enjoy watching one kid by themselves. Honestly one isn’t too bad. But when you have more than one it becomes a challenge. It can be done but I would always prefer to have my wife help me out.
Having fathers around helps strengthen the family unit by providing an extra set of hands for raising children. You don’t think about these things until you have 3 kids to watch and have to use the bathroom. The panic of what am I going to do with these kids? Having two adults around means you might get to use the bathroom in peace (probably not).
Fathers can encourage happiness
When fathers are involved with their children they teach empathy. The more involved the father is the better the child understands empathy. This can lead to a happier more fulfilling life for your children.
Research also has shown that sons who have a fond memory of their father did better at handling stress as they got older in life. Less stress may not indicate more happiness but it definitely creates a better life when kids have less stress.
Fathers are good at teaching finances
This may just be my personal experience but in almost every married couple I encounter a large percentage of the fathers are extremely fiscally aware. This doesn’t mean that moms can’t be good teachers of finance but it typically means they are the spenders while dads are the savers.
I have always been proud to call myself a cheapskate. My kids don’t like it, my wife probably hates it, but it means we stay out of debt and I can provide for my kids.
I try to instill this into my kids. Don’t be cheap but be frugal in all that you do. Be content with what you have and don’t get into the keeping up with the jones race that most people fall victim to.
Study after study shows that fathers are needed. It’s been a subject that has long been avoided and now it really needs more studies done to understand why fathers are important.
The family unit is no longer the norm. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Couples need to try and work it out, if they can’t do it in the same house at least be on the same team for raising kids so the dads can be just as involved as the moms.