Fathers’ engagement improves family wellbeing

Brendan Dennehy, founder of the Fatherhood Programme, explains the many benefits to families when fathers realise the importance of their role.
“In your child’s mind you are a giant. They look up to you. Despite sometimes doubting ourselves and our own ability to parent effectively, the latest evidence supports the view that most of us are doing our best. And that goes for Mums too”. (Fed, Funded and Ferried, A Father’s Guide to Happy Children, Brendan Dennehy 2017)
It’s important to note, it doesn’t have to be the biological father who can play this role. Grandparents, uncles, brothers and other trusted family friends can cast their invisible, yet life affirming spell, by simply hanging out.

Improved Emotional-Social, Behavioural and Academic Outcomes

The idea of getting fathers more involved in family life is something all families, especially Mums, would welcome. It’s not just about the practical stuff – the dropping, collecting, feeding and countless other tasks. It’s the emotional and social benefits that a fully engaged and emotionally committed father can bring to family life.
Fathers ought to take comfort from recent data (The Fatherhood Project, Harvard Medical School, 2014) which reaffirms the hugely influential role they play in their children’s lives – from birth to early childhood and beyond. In fact, science says that a father’s active participation and emotional engagement with his children leads to improved social-emotional, behavioural and academic outcomes.

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