Benefits to the father from having a close, loving relationship with his kids:
When involved dads know their children well, they parent with more understanding of their child’s needs, which means that they parent more effectively and in return they receive their children’s love and joy.
The father’s relationship continues to grow with the child and the father increasingly values his role as father. Some dads, and for a range of reasons, may find it more difficult to bond and connect with their child. It is common for new parents to experience a range of emotions, both positive and negative, in response to the challenges of new parenthood.
Effects on child development:
Perinatal anxiety and depression in dads can have specific and persisting detrimental effects on children’s development. It is vital that it is not only recognized but treated early and effectively for both the new dad and the new baby. Research has shown that depression in fathers in the postnatal period is associated with adverse social and emotional behavioural outcomes in children at age 3, particularly in boys, even when maternal depression is not present (Ramchandri et al, 2005)**. Men with depression are also less likely to read to, interact with or play with their children.
*Goldman, R (2005). Fathers’ Involvement in their Children’s Education. London: National Family and Parenting Institute.
**Ramchandani et al, (2005). Paternal depression in the postnatal period and child development: a prospective population study. The Lancet. 365 (9478), 2201–2205