The Importance of Fathers in Raising Children

Fathers are important for more than just roughhousing with kids and teaching them how to play football. Fathers are instrumental in promoting emotional, cognitive and even physical development in children, state William Scott and Amy De La Hunt, with the Parents as Teachers website. As you raise children, understanding a father’s important role can help ensure he uses it effectively for a positive outcome.


Fathers tend to parent differently than mothers, offers Ditta M. Oliker, Ph.D., with the Psychology Today website 1. Fathers often spend more one-on-one time with children, with the result being a boost in the child’s social and emotional development. When fathers provide emotional interaction and support for children, the children often display higher self-esteem and empathy toward others and grow up feeling valued, states the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension System.


A strong father figure has a significant impact on both sons and daughters, advises Oliker. A boy will grow up with a positive role model, learning positive characteristics that will help him succeed. A girl pays close attention to how her father acts and treats others. This enables her to form strong opinions about men, based on her father’s actions and behaviors. Girls may also be better able to interact with the opposite gender after having an involved father.

Physical Play

When fathers engage in playful activity with a child, it creates a strong bond between parent and child, according to the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension System 2. It’s common for fathers to play more actively and roughly with children. This level of play may even increase children’s cognitive abilities. Children can also learn effective lessons about how to regulate their behavior and control feelings as a result of physical play.

Academic Success

The active involvement of fathers with children can enhance their academic success, according to Jeffrey Rosenberg and Bradford W. Wilcox, authors of “The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children,” published by the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect 1. Children may have higher IQs, more advanced language skills and better cognitive abilities. A child may show more academic readiness to begin school as well. The presence of a father can continue to have an impact into teenage years, with adolescents exhibiting higher academic achievements.