10 Reasons a Father Matters in the Life of a Child

One of the reasons our country is struggling is because nearly half of kids will live apart from their father before the age of 18.

This is tragic on so many levels...but the biggest...
fathers matter in the life of a child.  Kids need a father.  Here's 10 reasons why.

Fathers matter financially.  Children in father-absent homes are more likely to be living in poverty.  In 2011, 12% of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44% of children in mother-only families.

Fathers matter because they help provide kids with emotional security.  Kids with involved fathers are more confident and sociable.  It also enables them to deal with stress better and helps them with self-direction.

Fathers matter academically.  Kids with engaged fathers have higher IQs at age three than those whose fathers have not been playing with them or helping care for them.  Studies show that children of highly involved fathers are 43% more likely than other children to earn mostly A's in school and 33% are less likely to repeat a grade.

Fathers matter on ordinary days.  When examining family functioning, fathers' involvement in everyday, home-based, common family leisure activities hold more weight than the large, extravagant, out-of-the-ordinary types of activities.

Fathers matter when it comes to play time.  In a study done by psychologist Ross Parke, it was found that "in infants and toddlers, fathers' hallmark style of interaction is physical play that is characterized by excitement, and unpredictability."  Fathers bring elements of play that mothers simply cannot bring.

Fathers matter when it comes to protection.  Fathers appear to be better at keeping predators and bad influences from harming their children.  When fathers are more involved, they can better monitor what's going on in their children's lives, including interaction with peers and adults.  Psychologist Rob Palkovitz said, "Paternal absence has been cited by multiple scholars as the single greatest risk factor in teen pregnancy for girls." 

Father's matter in the area of discipline.  Although mothers discipline more often, fathers discipline with a firmer hand.  Drs. Kyle Pruett and Marsha Kline Pruett said, "Fathers tend to be more willing than mothers to confront their children and enforce discipline, leaving their children with the impression that they in fact have more authority."  Kids in father-absent households have significantly higher odds of incarceration.  And there is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their father.

Fathers matter in helping boys become men.  A father models for his son how to be a man.  A boy needs a father who can teach him how to throw a baseball, change a flat tire, catch a fish and mow the grass.

Fathers matter in the area of physical health.  The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that obese children are more likely to live in father-absent homes than are non-obese children.

Fathers matter spiritually.  Fathers who model faith through prayer, church attendance and Bible reading have a significant spiritual impact in their child's life.  When the father is the spiritual leader in the home, the likelihood that the children will grow with an active faith increases significantly.

Fathers matter.  Encourage the fathers in your church.  Challenge the fathers in your church to be spiritual leaders.  Equip fathers to step into the role in their home that God made them for.