By Denise Morganthall
With Father’s Day approaching it is a great time to brag about our dads.
Researchers have found that the effects of a father’s love on the development of a child are often understudied and underestimated. Many experts now believe that fathers can be just as nurturing and sensitive with their babies as mothers. It has been found that a child without a father’s presence is at a greater risk for behavior problems, depression, delinquency and substance abuse. The love of a father plays a more significant role than that of the mother (don’t tell mom). It has been argued whether a dual-parent household produces better offspring than a single-parent household, but new studies are focusing on fatherhood as a “cornerstone” of child development.
The importance of having a father in a child’s life should never force a mother to include a father who is not healthy for the child, however. Children need fathers to love them, take interest in them, set boundaries and put the children’s needs first. A father figure also may be a non-traditional father, such as an uncle or grandfather.
Father figures can have a lasting impact on children. As our society continues to become more dangerous, a father’s role is even more important. The presence of a father’s love may help boost a child’s sense of well-being and improve emotional and physical health. The father also helps the mother succeed in raising a well-adjusted child, in turn making the mother a happier and more effective parent too. Let’s all wish our dads a “Happy Father’s Day” as we remember what an important role our fathers have in raising happy, healthy children into happy, healthy adults!