Children who spend time with their fathers perform better in school. Even just 10 minutes a day spent reading, playing, singing or drawing with your dad leads to a “small but significant” improvement in academic performance at primary school. This is supported by a study by the University of Leeds, cited by the Guardian.
They improve results in key assessments
In particular, reports the Guardian, the study showed that greater involvement of fathers before their children attend primary school (which in the UK starts at age 5) gives children an educational advantage in their first year, while a greater Engagement at age five helps increase achievement in key assessments in later years. The effect is also slightly more pronounced in mathematics.
The different impact of fathers and mothers
The study also found a distinction between the impact of mothers and that of fathers. While fathers’ involvement had an impact on educational attainment, mothers had a greater impact on emotional and social behaviors.
The researcher: “Encouraging fathers to participate in child care”
“Mothers – explains Dr. Helen Norman, researcher at the business school of the University of Leeds, who led the research – still tend to do more of childcare, but if fathers also actively engage in childcare, increases the likelihood that children will achieve better grades in primary school. This is why it is essential to encourage and support fathers to share the care of their children with the mother, from the early stages of the child’s life.”