Father’s Day: 5 ways a father impacts a child’s personality

Dads are special! On Father's Day, let us take a look the role of a father in child development and how important it is for them to set the right example.
Role of father in child development
Father plays a key role in a child's development. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Dr Sahil Bansal Published: 18 Jun 2023, 04:30 pm IST
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Parents and extended family members play a key role in shaping up a child’s personality and perspective. But a father holds a special place. The relationship between a father and his child has a deep impact on a child’s development in all domains – be it physical, social, emotional or cognitive. When discussing the factors that contribute to a child’s development, the importance of a father’s role may often become overshadowed by the emphasis placed on the mother-child relationship. However, a father’s role is as important and significant if not more, in shaping a child’s overall personality.

The emotional support provided by a father to his child is a priceless gift. By helping kids to understand how much they are valued and loved, children with supportive fathers are more likely to have high self-esteem, be happier, be more confident, have more stress tolerance, be less hesitant and are also equipped with better cognitive and communication skill.

This positive impact continues even during their adolescent phase – children whose fathers are actively involved in their upbringing tend to have decrease in adolescent risk behaviour. These teenagers show improved cognitive development, social responsiveness, independence and gender role development. Let’s take a look at the role of fathers in child development.

Father and child
Dad is a superhero for the child! Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

5 roles of a father in child development

1. Emotional Development

Fathers have a significant impact on their children’s emotional development. Research suggests that the presence of a caring and involved father fosters emotional security in children, promoting their overall well-being. By providing a stable and supportive environment, fathers help children develop a sense of trust, self-confidence and emotional resilience. Fathers often engage in play that involves physical activity and exploration, which helps children learn to manage emotions such as excitement, frustration and anger.

2. Cognitive development

Fathers contribute to a child’s cognitive development through their distinct interactions and parenting style. Studies have shown that fathers tend to engage in activities that promote problem-solving skills, critical thinking and intellectual curiosity. Fathers often encourage independence and risk-taking, allowing children to develop their cognitive abilities and explore their interests. By providing diverse perspectives and experiences, fathers broaden a child’s cognitive horizons, expanding their understanding of the world.

3. Gender role development

Fathers play a crucial role in shaping a child’s understanding of gender roles and attitudes. By being actively involved in caregiving and household responsibilities, fathers challenge traditional gender stereotypes and promote equality. Fathers who demonstrate respect, empathy, and collaboration with their partner serve as positive role models for their children, teaching them the values of fairness, respect, and cooperation. The involvement of fathers in nurturing and caregiving activities also helps children develop healthier and more balanced perspectives on gender roles.

4. Social development

Father-child relationships contribute significantly to a child’s social development. Fathers often engage in play that involves negotiation, cooperation, and problem-solving, fostering essential social skills. The interactions between fathers and children provide opportunities for learning effective communication, empathy, and conflict resolution. Additionally, the presence of a supportive and involved father can enhance a child’s social competence and peer relationships, leading to better emotional regulation and social integration.

Bond between father and child
A father should have a positive impact on a child. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Self-esteem and identity formation

Fathers play a pivotal role in building a child’s self-esteem and facilitating their identity formation. Through positive affirmations, encouragement, and praise, fathers help children develop a strong sense of self-worth and confidence. They serve as role models, guiding children in establishing their values, beliefs, and goals. Fathers who actively support and nurture their children’s interests and talents provide a foundation for their self-identity and future aspirations.

The last word

The role of fathers in a child’s personality development cannot be overstated. By actively participating in their children’s lives, fathers contribute to their overall well-being and help shape their personalities. Recognizing the significance of the father-child relationship and encouraging fathers to be actively involved not only benefits the child but also promotes gender equality and healthier family dynamics. The society, as a whole, should value and support fathers in their efforts to nurture and guide their children towards a bright and fulfilling future.

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About the Author

Dr Sahil Bansal is a Consultant Pediatrician and Neonatologist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Panchkula. ...Read More

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