We should recognize that fatherhood is not merely a sentimental role,
but a profoundly practical one as well. Fathers do far more than put
food on the table, teach us to ride a bike, or take us to our first
baseball game.

Fathers are critical to healthy child and human development. Put
another way, our fathers help make us the smart, compassionate,
confident, well-adjusted people we are.

There are five
things essential to living a well-rounded life that the social and
psychological sciences tell us we are more likely to get from our
fathers than our mothers:

Fathers Teach Empathy

26-year study published by the American Psychological Association found
that children with fathers very involved in their lives are more likely
to be sensitive to the needs of others in adulthood compared to those
who do not have involved fathers in their lives.

In fact,
the researchers found that high father involvement was a substantially
greater influence upon the development of generosity and thoughtfulness
in adulthood than the three strongest maternal predictors combined.

Fathers Give Confidence

gain confidence not from simply being told we are good, but by actually
trying something difficult and discovering we can do it. Fathers are
more likely to challenge their children to try difficult things by
taking safe and measured risks.

even shows that infants with involved fathers are more confident and
likely to explore the world around them with enthusiasm. Fathers' more
active play style and slower response to help their children through
frustrating situations creates greater problem-solving capacity and
confidence in both boys and girls.

Fathers Increase Vocabulary

who spend much time with Dad over their childhood are more likely to
have larger and more complex vocabularies. A mother, being more
attentive to the needs of her children, tends to talk on level with the
child. This is good and makes for immediate communication.

however, speak to their children more like they speak to other adults.
Dad's directions to their children tend to be longer than Mom's,
providing the child with the opportunity to hear more words and then
learn how they fit together to convey a thought. And we know that a
strong vocabulary is foundational to developing strong reading skills.

Fathers Protect Against Crime and Violence

are not likely to find well-fathered boys in gangs. This is not only
because fathers are more likely to keep their sons out of gangs, but
more importantly, fathers give boys the things that can make gang life

At one time, insecure boys used loud, fast cars
and motorcycles to show the neighborhood they mattered and weren't to
be messed with. Now those boys use guns and aggression. Boys with good
fathers don't have this need. They learn from their dads that they
matter, and they don't feel they have to force their way into manhood.

girls with good fathers are not as likely to fall to the pressure of
sexually enterprising young boys because well-fathered girls are more
confident, having already gained the love of a good man.

Fathers Promote Better Treatment of Women

a young woman who is confident, bright, capable, and unlikely to be
victimized sexually, emotionally, or financially, and I will show you a
woman who most likely has a good dad in her life.

good father demonstrates to both sons and daughters how a good man
should treat women. This is shown by a father's good behavior, but also
by his less-than-good behavior. When a good dad is inconsiderate and
Mom calls him on it and he responds like a gentleman, both boys and
girls take note.

Research from the
University of California looked at 90 different cultures to study how
men's participation in childcare related to the status of women in
these cultures. They found a very close connection, explaining,
"Societies with significant paternal involvement in routine childcare
are more likely than father-absent societies to include women in public
decisions and to allow women access to positions of authority."

the best news of all, these five statements are true not only of
"Father of the Year" dads, but also "Good Enough" dads, who show up
every day to the job of involving themselves in their children’s lives.
In fathering, quantity makes up for many of the typical shortcomings in

Glenn T. Stanton is the director of global family formation studies at “Focus on the Family”.

Source: The Epoch Times – http://tinyurl.com/nd4h58