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5 Compelling Reasons Fathers Play a Crucial Role in Families

Amanda Idleman

Contributing Writer
Published Jan 05, 2024
5 Compelling Reasons Fathers Play a Crucial Role in Families

Our culture is moving farther from the historically recognized gender roles, but even if we don't want to acknowledge our special roles, they still exist. Men, women, moms, and dads all offer something unique and valuable to this world. Each of us is made from God's imagination with different gifts, talents, and genetic blueprints. Our uniqueness should be celebrated, and our chance to impact our community as the men or women we are made to be should be affirmed. The goal is not to put us in boxes but to celebrate the men and women we are. All of us are different, but we are each made with a thoughtful purpose.

That being said, fathers have been given a very important role to play in their children's lives. An involved Dad significantly improves the chance of children living a happy, healthy, and successful life! We can't cancel fatherhood. If we love our kids, we need to embrace the role of dads in helping raise well-adjusted kids!

The good news is that even if you are a single Mom, the role of "father" can be taken up by any loving, trusted, and involved male who is willing to help parent your children. Grandpa, mentors, trusted coaches, church leaders, and others can step up and help offer the unique influence that comes from a Father.

If you are in a two-parent home, it is time to cheer Dad on! His funny way of changing the diaper, tucking the kids into bed, or serving dinner matters so much. Encourage him to bring his own style to your parenting team rather than let mom's way be the only way in your home.

Here are five reasons why fathers are important:

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Dad with daughter playing basketball

1. Fathers Impact Our Kids Health and Development

Dads who are accessible, engaged, and responsible raise more emotionally stable children. Their kids tend to have fewer behavioral issues, have better language development and more social skills, and are better able to interact with their peers. Present Fatherhood leads to increased social responsibility, empathy, maturity, self-control, and self-esteem in their children.

A dad's example when it comes to healthy habits, such as modeling healthy eating or exercise, has a huge influence on their children's own long-term habits. Research has found there is a consistent link between a Father's activity level and that of their children. Children are three times more likely to be physically active if they have an active Dad! The model Dad sets in the home regarding healthy habits is powerful.

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dad helping kid with homework

2. Father's Impact Their Kid's Academic Success

An involved Father has a major impact on a child's academic success. A 2016 article in Sex Roles determined that US teenagers with loving dads were more optimistic and responsible, which led to higher achievement in school. Even kids with limited English skills did better when they had fathers in their lives. Daughters saw gains in math, and sons showed better scores in language arts when Dad was involved.

Science has revealed that dads have a major impact on language development in their children. Men tend to use tougher vocabulary around their kids, speak in complete sentences, and don't change their speech as much when talking to them, making them work harder to understand what dad's saying.

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Dad comforting crying daughter

3. A Father's Love Protects Their Child's Mental Health

Ronald Rohner, the director of the Center for the Study of Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection at the University of Connecticut, looked at years of studies reviewing parental acceptance and rejection worldwide. Parental rejection obviously has a major impact on a child's mental health, but he was surprised to find that in many cases, Dad is more important as a factor for a child's mental health than Mom.

Struggles, including delinquency, depression, substance abuse, and other mental health issues, were more closely linked to Dad's rejection than to Mom. On the flip side, a dad's love can have a bigger impact than a mom's. Having a loving father has been found to be a better predictor of a child's sense of wellbeing, happiness, and satisfaction than knowing Mom loves them.

We know that fatherless children make up large parts of the at-risk youth population. 90% of homeless or runaway youth are from fatherless homes, 85% of children who display behavioral issues are from fatherless homes, 70% of those in state institutions are from fatherless homes, 75% of those being treated for substance abuse issues are from fatherless homes, and more! The statistics tell us that Fathers matter!

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Stay at home dad with kids

4. Involved Father's Help Promote Economic Stability for Children

A child's economic stability is linked to a Father's involvement, especially when Dad sees themselves as a provider. Fatherless children are more likely to experience the effects of poverty. George W. Bush brought this issue up when he was in office. He noted that fatherlessness has become a major social problem. Children without fathers are more likely to end up in poverty, become addicts, end up in prison, drop out of school, and more! This is not the only reason these things happen, but it's a major factor we must acknowledge if we want to bring healing to our nation's family fabric.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Maria Korneeva
5. A Father Has a Major Impact on Their Child's Faith

5. A Father Has a Major Impact on Their Child's Faith

Research has revealed that a father's behavior impacts how his children understand God, especially in traditions that present God as a male. When a child has had a more positive relationship with their Father, they are more likely to have a positive view of who God is. Studies have also shown that Dads who are close with their kids are more likely to have children that carry on their family's religious beliefs. 56% of families with dads who had a close relationship with their kids had children who maintained the same level of religious engagement as they have.

Overall, it seems clear that God made Dads for a reason. They are called to nurture, guide, challenge, provide for, and love their kids. Their presence and involvement have a profound lifelong impact on the wellbeing of their children. We need a culture that champions the role of Dad! Let him be fun, tough, silly, sweet, and everything in between! His example matters so very much for your kids.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Winnie Vinzence

Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God's Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.

Originally published Wednesday, 10 January 2024.