10 Ways Dads Make a Difference

June 14th, 2013

June 16th is for celebrating dads!

As Father’s Day arrives in the U.S. and many other countries around the world, we pause to honor the importance of dads to children and families. Biological and adoptive fathers, married and single fathers, gay and straight fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers raising grandchildren, and other father figures are making a difference in so many ways.

Among the many roles they play, dads substantially contribute to children’s health, safety, and development. Studies have shown that engagement from any strong father figure is associated with positive outcomes in these areas, and that this influence can start from the very beginning.

Research Says: 10 Ways Dads Make a Difference

  1. Many fathers have the opportunity to play a critical role in supporting mom-to-be for a healthy, safe pregnancy and birth.
  2. Newborns who bond with their fathers are more likely to successfully breastfeed, which comes with many health benefits.
  3. Babies born prematurely gain weight faster if their fathers are positively involved.
  4. Infants who have involved fathers in their lives for the first 18 to 24 months are more curious and more likely to explore the world with enthusiasm.
  5. Babies whose fathers are positively involved in their care are more secure, less anxious, and more resilient under stress.
  6. Toddlers with involved dads tend to demonstrate stronger language skills.
  7. Children who have close involvement from both parents show stronger cognitive and motor skills as they grow.
  8. The children of affectionate fathers are more socially mature and more likely to exhibit positive peer and sibling relationships.
  9.  Children of positively engaged fathers show less impulsive behavior, are more self-directed, and show an increased ability to take initiative.
  10. Children of involved fathers have higher self-esteem and show fewer signs of depression than children growing up without a strong father bond.

We appreciate and applaud the fathers and father figures whose love, support, engagement, and commitment are making a difference for children and families in these and many other ways!

Who are YOU celebrating this Father’s Day?


Photo Credit: Flashon Studio/