Dad. A tiny word for someone who makes a big difference.
Loving. Fun. Wise. Kind. Strong. Sweet.
We love dads! Whether they’re rough housing with the kids or cracking “dad jokes”, we know they’re so much more than we may see on the surface. Just look at all the amazing ways that dads are making a difference in the lives of their children across the lifespan!
Moms may have the advantage when it comes to early bonding, but babies can hear sounds from outside the womb as early as 24 weeks gestation and can recognize the sound of their father’s voice by 32 weeks! Just watch a newborn baby when their dad is talking to them. . .you can see them taking in every lilt of the voice, every word formation, absorbing not only the building blocks of language but a lasting connection with their Dad. And when dads give cuddles, baths, and feedings, the bond between babies and their dads is even stronger!
Toddlers are finally building the motor skills and coordination to explore their world! Dads are a huge part of this exciting developmental stage as they practice “serve and return” – the playful and responsive back-and-forth communication of babbles and first words, facial expressions, and physical play that helps infants and young children thrive. And quite naturally, dads are masters at physical play! By following their child’s lead, studies show that “rough housing” is part of a healthy relationship between parents and children, helping them bond socially while also forming social limits.
School Age and Beyond
By establishing a close, connected bond through the early years, dads are giving their children a better chance to excel academically and socially. Kids who have a present and engaged father figure in the home tend to have more confident social skills, less behavioral challenges, and less likelihood to engage in dangerous activities. Dads who engage on a daily basis with their children’s lives build a strong foundation of love and trust that will carry their child through to adulthood.
We know that no two dads are alike. Not all dads like golfing, fishing, or big pints of ale (although I defy you to find a Father’s Day card that will indicate otherwise) but most are happy for the opportunity to spend quality time with their kids! Throw in a few dad jokes along the way, and you have the perfect recipe for a happy childhood. And hey – isn’t that why we’re here?