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Involved Fathers Boost Children in Many Ways

In celebration of Father’s Day this month, the state of Tennessee salutes fathers, grandfathers, adoptive and foster dads for their active role in the lives of children. The support dads provide kids is crucial in their development. The special time they spend with them is priceless.

All children benefit from caring, understanding and dedicated male role models in their lives.

Active Dads Support Kids

Being an active dad is important in your children’s life. Being active means to always be there for them when they need support. It means offering encouragement. It means giving words of comfort when a child is hurt or down. It means being there to give praise.

There are lots of benefits that active and involved dads bring to their children:

  • The U.S Department of Health and Human Services says that fathers who are actively involved in their children’s lives contribute to their emotional health, overall well-being, social development and self-respect.
  • Contributions from active fathers during infancy and early childhood make kids feel more secure and boost their math and verbal skills.
  • When dads are caring and warm with their children, kids are more likely to get along well with their siblings.
  • When fathers support and encourage their children, kids are more likely to have positive relationships with other children. They are also less likely to behave aggressively.
  • With involved fathers, kids can better handle new and unfamiliar situations and stress. They are able to control their emotions more easily.
  • Children are more likely to have higher levels of happiness and confidence. They are less likely to feel concern, fear and guilt.
  • Studies indicate that kids are more likely to have conversations with fathers that include where, what and why questions. This leads to improved math and problem-solving skills, as well as better word and language skills.

Read more about how fathers shape child development at different life stages.

Involvement Brings Rich Benefits to Dads

The opportunity to spend time with and take care of children provides fathers with rich rewards. Here are some important pluses:

  • They’re more likely to see their interactions with their children positively.
  • They more easily understand and are more accepting of their children.
  • They enjoy closer, richer father-child relationships.
  • They’re more likely to be more satisfied with their lives, feel less distress, and are better able to understand themselves.
  • They have more empathy for others and are better able to manage their emotions.
  • Active fathers enjoy a greater sense of feeling included and connected. As a result, they’re more likely to have stable marriages and happiness in their relationships.
  • They get a greater sense of how important they are to their children.

Enjoy Special Father-Child Activities

Make time for special dad-child activities. This valuable time together will help build confidence, a positive outlook and self-esteem in your child. Most important, your child will love spending time with you. Here are 10 fun activities dads can do with their children:

  1. Hold your child’s hand and go for a long walk.
  2. Try to solve an age-appropriate puzzle together.
  3. Build a fort with boxes and chair cushions or whatever is available. Let your kids use their imaginations in the building process and play time that follows.
  4. Get outside and play catch. Ask your child fun questions while you play.
  5. Play board games or outside games like hopscotch or tag.
  6. Play hide-and-seek. For a different twist, you hide with your child and have another loved one try to find you both.
  7. Have relay, three-legged or other kinds of races in your backyard or at the park.
  8. Sing silly songs together using different voices. You can even make your own music video.
  9. Create an obstacle course and see who can make it through the fastest.
  10. Make a fun dinner together. One option: homemade mini-pizzas.

Additional Resources

Learn more about the benefits of involved fathers and get more fun activities dads and kids can do together.

For more information about the importance of a father’s role in the lives of their children, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Fatherhood website. offers parenting tips and activity suggestions provided by fathers themselves.

Even when fathers don’t share a home with their children, their active involvement can have a lasting and positive impact.