Fathers Make a Unique Difference in their Kids’ Lives

Indeed, fathers play a unique role; dads tend to parent differently than moms do.

By Joshua Liong | 3 July, 2018

With Father’s Day coming up, I found myself reflecting on my role as a dad to my teenage daughters. I often struggle with not being the perfect father.

In my favourite song “Not All Heroes Wear Capes,” Adam Young talks about his relationship with his dad and the things he did, such as teaching him to drive and to dream.

Like the father in the song, the positive impact dads can have on their children should not be underestimated, even if they are imperfect.

Research suggests the quality of father-child interaction matters more than the quantity of time spent. [1] The seemingly small everyday things dads do with their kids matter.

When fathers are engaged and involved parents, children tend to experience benefits, like improved cognition, positive socio-emotional well-being, healthier sexual development, and better educational outcomes. [2]

Sociology Professor David Popenoe says, “Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring. They have a parenting style that is significantly different from that of a mother and that difference is important in healthy child development.” [3]

For example, in terms of linguistic development, studies revealed fathers and mothers often communicate differently. [4] When dads interact with their children in creative, playful ways, their kids’ vocabulary expands. [5]

Indeed, fathers play a unique role; dads tend to parent differently than moms do.

Men can become engaged, involved fathers through everyday acts of service and intentionally connecting with their children.

Like it says in the song, each dad is an irreplaceable hero in his family.

In order to nurture a healthy and resilient next generation, let us affirm fathers for their parenting efforts. A good way to do so is to join the festivities to celebrate and encourage dads, such as Focus on the Family Singapore’s That’s My Dad! campaign.

Joshua Liong
Family Life Specialist
Focus on the Family Singapore


[1] The Impact of Parental Involvement on Children's Education

[2] The Science of Dad and the ‘Father Effect’

[3] David Popenoe, Life Without Father, (New York: The Free Press, 1996), p. 163.

[4] Dad Talk

[5] Fathers’ repetition of words is coupled with children’s vocabularies



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