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Duh.  Of course Dad is important.

At the same time, when one is encouraging a Dad to be more involved (or helping a Mom who may not be on great terms with Dad to keep him involved) with his kids, it can be helpful to have a few facts at one’s fingertips.

Here are two of my favorite research findings brought to you courtesy of http://www.fatherhood.gov.

  • Research shows that even very young children who have experienced high father involvement show an increase in curiosity and in problem solving capacity. Fathers’ involvement seems to encourage children’s exploration of the world around them and confidence in their ability to solve problems.
    • Pruett, Kyle D. 2000. Fatherneed: Why Father Care is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child. New York: Free Press.
  • When non-custodial fathers are highly involved with their children’s learning, the children are more likely to get A’s at all grade levels.
    • National Center for Education Statistics. October 1997. Fathers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools; National Household Education

In other words, does Dad want a smart kid with great grades?  Then be there to play, go hiking, listen to music and toss a football!  Oh yah, and come to parent-teacher conferences as well!

P.S.  Want an inspiring and  fun resource for dads looking to get serious about spending time with their kids?   Check out this blog — http://www.AdventureDad.org

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