The Role of Father’s: Insights and tips on how father’s contribute to their child’s social, emotional, and cognitive learning – Dolphin Kids™ Programs and Camps | We don’t teach, we transform learning

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The Role of Father’s: Insights and tips on how father’s contribute to their child’s social, emotional, and cognitive learning

Prior to the late 1970s, the role of fathers was more defined as the family’s main breadwinner, disciplinarian, and would take time to play when he could. However, times have changed and fathers are seen to be more involved in raising their children. In fact, majority of studies have affirmed that fathers play an important role in the health and well-being of their children. In celebration of Father’s Day, we want to share with you how the presence of a father is not only a positive experience for the family, but is also beneficial to a child’s social, emotional and cognitive growth.

How Fathers Can Help

When fathers are involved in parenting, children’s emotional well-being have been proven to increase. Children are generally more well-adjusted and there are less expressions of fear, guilt, stress and anxiety. When stressful situations occur, children develop a greater tolerance and have better problem-solving and adaptive skills — managing their emotions healthily and appropriately. And as a child enters adolescence, close relationships with their fathers can also improve self-efficacy and reduce aggressive behaviours. When children feel their fathers’ love and acceptance, they would also have higher self-esteem and be more self-motivated.

What Fathers Can Do

Children are highly impressionable and often take after their parents’ reactions to negative emotions. Therefore, the key to developing emotional intelligence in your child is to first recognise and manage your own emotions appropriately. When you are feeling more positive and relaxed, you can then be more sensitive to your child’s feelings especially when he is not able to express his feelings adequately. Increase your child’s vocabulary for words that describe feelings by demonstrating and modelling how to express feelings. When your child is feeling stressed or frustrated, be there to support him. Encourage your child to solve a problem by thinking ahead about the consequences of the solutions, help him to generate alternative ideas and choose the best plan of action.

How Fathers Can Help

Studies have proven that when infants enjoy higher levels of interaction with fathers through play and caregiving activities, their problem-solving ability increases and have higher cognitive functioning. When compared with mothers, fathers’ talk with toddlers is characterized by more wh- (e.g. “what, where” etc.) questions, which requires the child to express themselves more, use more  vocabulary and produce longer sentences when communicating with their fathers. School-aged children of involved fathers also perform better academically. They have more positive attitudes towards school and have less behavioural problems.

What Fathers Can Do

Cognitive development is the process where a child learns to solve problems, reason, think logically and creatively. Boost cognitive development through lots of play! Come up with games and activities that encourage your child to think and find solutions. From board games to sports, train your child to learn through trial and error and encourage your child not to give up. Children are little explorers so plan for a nature outing at least once a month. For example, it could be as simple as having a family picnic at the beach. Everything that the child observes — from the waves on the shore, birds flying, fish swimming in water or ships passing by — these are excellent ways to stimulate the senses, start conversations and spur imaginative thinking.

How Fathers Can Help

Studies have proven that when fathers are more hands-on with parenting, children tend to have more positive peer relations — less aggression and conflict, more reciprocity and generosity. They also have increased moral judgement, values and conformity to rules and display more moral and pro-social behaviours. By feeling secure and attached to their fathers, children are more tolerant and understanding of others. As they become adults, they are also more likely to enjoy supportive social networks consisting of long-term close friendships and successful marriages.

What Fathers Can Do

Teach your child that relationships are important. Model it for your child early on and help him to be respectful of others. If you notice your child behaving disrespectfully unintentionally, be sure to talk about it with him later. Be clear about insisting that they acknowledge adults in their presence as well as other kids. If you happen to have a child who is shy, teach effective strategies to deal with fears such as being interested by asking questions and listening to others. Have plenty of opportunities to practice social behaviours by following their lead in a “peer-like” way. When you are responsive to your child’s play ideas, it makes your child feel that they are good, effective play partners and thus are eager to play with other peers.

From what we gather, many findings have affirmed the positive effects of fathers’ presence and father-child relationship. Mothers are not only the ones who affect their children’s development but fathers do have a direct impact on children too. Fathers provide for children’s needs in a different way than mothers, and they are just as invaluable to children’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive functioning.