My family is blessed by generations of fathers who were actively involved in their child’s upbringing. I remember my own father reading to me nearly every night he was home. I was lucky. Research shows when fathers used more words with their children during play, children had more advanced language skills a year later. And that is likely also linked with later success in school.
After birth, children whose fathers play with them, read to them, take them on outings, and care for them have fewer behavioral problems during their early school years. And they have a lower risk of delinquency or criminal behavior as adolescents. Again, I was lucky to have a dad, grandfathers and great-grandfathers all willing to invest a little bit of time in me — not a grandson but a granddaughter.
So to all the fathers out there, take time to play with your child, however old, today and every day. And it will pay off in years and generations to come. Happy Father’s Day.