Research conducted by Leeds University has shown the profound effect that dads can have on their child’s education and development.
How dads’ engagement affects their kids
The study analysed the primary test scores of nearly 5,000 children from 2000-2002 and data collected as the children grew.
The results showed that dads who often read with their children and actively spent time on activities with them, such as playing or drawing, supported their kids doing better at primary school.
However, the study also showed that a father’s involvement had a positive impact on their child’s development at any age.
1-1 time with dad
The research showed different results for when mums and dads played with their kids together. In those cases, mums had more of an impact on the child. The study found as a result that dads should spend separate 1-1 time with their kids on interactive activities.
How can I spend quality time with my kids?
Want to help your child’s development as well as boost your connection? Even ten minutes a day spending quality, active time together makes a big difference to your child’s happiness and future:
Read, read and read some more
Reading with kids significantly impacts their life for the better. It improves their language knowledge and skills, and stimulates their imagination (which comes in handy for school!). Try and set aside 10 minutes a night to read a story with them. You can start from any age- babies love board books and will enjoy hearing your voice change to bring the characters to life. With secondary school-aged children, you can offer to read a book together or side-by-side, and then discuss the story afterwards.
Indulge their play ideas
Spend some time with your child while they choose the nature of your activity time together- maybe they want to play toy cars with you, or feed you plastic food from their toy kitchen. Whatever it is, play along and engage with them on their level. It’s all going towards building their cognitive skills and social development.
You don’t have to have any art knowledge or craft ideas to get creative with your kids. The key is to just have fun! Two pieces of paper and some wax crayons are enough to get going- maybe you could have a contest to see who can draw the best dragon, or draw something together (dad draws the head, your child draws the body, and so on). You’re encouraging their imagination by taking part in these kinds of activities- perhaps you could take it a step further and have a contest to see who can create a new animal, or come up with imaginative designs for a new kind of vehicle.
Make up games, stories or songs
Whether you’ve got a girly girl or a rough-and-tumble boy, all kids will enjoy the chance to make up activities with dads. You could try making an assault course out of cushions and beds, or help your child write a story. It all counts as quality time spent stimulating their imagination.