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Fathers are important for good parenting

Harold Mandel's picture
Father and son

Researchers say that there is an improvement in outcomes for kids and their fathers when fathers are engaged in parenting intervention.


When we think of good parenting there is often a tendency to assume the mother is the most significant figure in a child's life.This assumption is not at all fair to father's who also often turn out to be incredibly important figures in the lives of kids.

It has been reported by New York University that the outcomes for both kids and their fathers are improved when fathers take part in parenting intervention. A study which was led by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development found that the father's parenting skills were significantly improved and the readiness and behavior of preschoolers was improved when fathers took part in a parenting program which engaged them with their kids via reading.

Fathers play a significant role in the social, emotional, and behavioral development of their kids

Working along with fathers to improve their parenting skills and the associated outcomes for their kids has not been well studied. Most of the research on parenting has focused on the mothers. The significant role which fathers play in the social, emotional, and behavioral development of their kids should not be overlooked.

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During the dynamic activity of shared book reading the adult uses prompts and feedback to nurture the development of the child as a storyteller. There is a lot of praise and encouragement given to their kids during this interactive activity. Father-child interactions are nurtured during shared book reading. This activity also helps kids develop readiness for school.

Fathers from low-income communities can effectively engage in parenting

It was observed in this study that fathers from low-income communities could effectively engage in parenting interventions. Parenting behaviors, child behaviors, and language development of the kids in the program improved a great deal in association with this dynamic interaction.

It was noted by the researchers that shared book reading may not always be the most optimal approach for all fathers and their kids. In order to improve the likelihood of success interventions should be tailored to be as close as possible to the preferences of communities and to the parents. Anil Chacko, associate professor of counseling psychology at NYU Steinhardt and the lead author of this study, says it is believed a program which focuses on skill development and which focuses on the parent and child is best.

This study has been published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology. Fathers can serve a very significant role in supporting the success of preschool kids. The importance of good fathers in the development of their children should never be underestimated.