Dads are spending 3x the amount of time caring for their kids as they did 50 years ago. That’s a great thing for our little ones—research shows a father’s active involvement from the start has a big impact on development, both near and long-term!
INVOLVED Fathers Impact EARLY Development
“Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections,” explain researchers in “The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children,” published by the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect in the US. Study after study shows dads play a big role in human development from the very start, and this impact goes on as the child grows.
POSITIVE OUTCOMES FOR Preterm Infants
The impact of having a loving, nurturing father-figure is especially important for preterm infants. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACP) showed that babies born prematurely who have dads that play an active role from birth achieve higher cognitive scores at 36 months than those who rely on mom alone for their social interaction and caregiving. This is especially important for these special little ones who may struggle to achieve important growth and development milestones as they get older.
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While dad’s impact on baby’s development is critical in forming early attachments and in cognitive development, it doesn’t end there! Many studies have found that kids with caring, involved fathers also have higher intellectual functioning, more advanced verbal skills and improved academic achievement as they grow into adolescents. This is great news for all the dads out there who seek a more active role in their child’s development. For information on how they can play a big role from the start, check out our post on 5 Baby Bonding Tips for New Fathers