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What is the father's role in early child development?

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Quick Answer

A father's role in early child development includes providing emotional security to the child so she can develop into a socially adept person, says Psychology Today. He also helps a child become aware of herself, as well as take charge of her feelings and behavior through interactions that occur during playtime.

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The involvement of a father in a child’s formative years fosters emotional security in the child, states Psychology Today. Such a child is likely to be more confident while exploring her surroundings, and later in life, her social connections tend to be more secure and better. A father has a positive influence on a child’s health, and experts state that the infant mortality rates are up to 1.8 times higher for infants of unmarried mothers, according to the Auburn Citizen. An unmarried mother has a high likelihood of having a low birth weight baby as compared to a married mother whose husband is involved in prenatal care.

The father facilitates the child’s physical and social development by playing with the child. Psychology Today reports that a father’s interaction with an infant stimulates playful activity to a higher degree than does a mother. Such interactions help a child learn to regulate her feelings and behavior.

A child with an involved, caring father tends to have better educational outcomes. Such involvement extends its influence into her adolescence, with numerous studies indicating that the nurturing of a father has a close association with the child’s intellectual functioning, development of verbal skills and academic performance, notes Psychology Today.

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