Dads Make a Difference

Mums and dads bring different things to the wellbeing of children. Dads are often more physical, flexible and have more of a give-and-take approach to play and interactions.  While each parent will bring their own unique parenting style, there are some general truths that research backs up about the benefits that Dads bring to raising children.

Here’s how dads help their children:

  • Being a dad who is emotionally invested and well connected is associated with better well-being, cognitive development and social competence
  • Dads who are involved, supportive, non-controlling, and can be flexible when needed, significantly increase the development of child executive function (important self-control skills developed in the preschool years and lead to greater success in school years)
  • Dads who more often show warmth and can set limits have children in a healthier weight range.
  • Dads have greater influence on child physical activity - role modelling, taking children to sport, being a positive spectator and helping to promote physical activity with your co- parent all makes a positive difference
  • Dads of ‘gifted’ sons make a difference by reflecting on and accepting their own giftedness, not forcing conformity to stereotypes, avoiding too high expectations, listening more than talking, avoiding unnecessary power struggles and laughing with them at silly mistakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I want to know more on being a good dad?

Did you want to get some tips from a dad on what he learnt about being a good enough dad? Check out this video found on the Better Dads website ( - Nicho Plowman ‘The Importance of Being Great Dads While Our Children Are Young”.

What else does the research say?

Areas for dads to further develop are:

  • Parental behaviours that support children’s goals, interests, and choices.
  • Dealing with own anxiety and depression, as father’s anxiety and/or depression symptoms is associated with more controlling parenting style, less gentle touch and higher levels of emotional and behavioural problems in their children over time.


There are some really good websites just for dads you may like to check out to help you as you develop your own brand of being a good enough dad:

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