Every child can benefit from the influence of a good father, or good father-figure.
Children who have a father or father-figure who pays attention to them have a stronger belief in their own ability to control and determine their own fates. They score higher on tests. They have higher self-esteem
Girls who have a father or father-figure who pays attention to them feel more affirmed as females which delays early sexual experimentation. (If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will)
How to you pay attention? Put down the newspaper when your child talks to you. Turn off the TV, close the laptop. Play a game of your child’s choice. Leave a note for your child when you travel. Send them an e-mail or a text. Tell them about something you are doing or are interested it, in an age-appropriate way.
My beloved father used to leave me or mail me rebus notes when he was on a business trip. When I thought I wanted to be dentist in the ’50’s when there were few women in dentistry, he brought home a plastic dental kit. I still have parts of it today. He drove me to high school almost every day and discussed things I was interested it.
Key idea: Parents, especially the less available parent, need to make sure they take care of the relationship with their children, and not just the discipline.