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Thursday, September 2, 2021

Why Playtime with Father Figures is So Important for Children

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Adequate playtime is so important for the development of children that the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights considers it a basic right for all kids. Playtime helps kids develop problem-solving skills, learn how to take initiative, improve their executive functioning abilities, and refine their motor skills. It also gives fathers and other male figures in a child's life a wonderful opportunity to interact with their kids in positive and very meaningful ways that will improve their child's quality of life along with deepening their bond with the child.

Playing Builds a Stronger Relationship

Playing with a kid requires giving them your time and attention. Nothing is more important when building a lasting bond than spending time actively engaged with a kid. Playing together allows children to see their fathers and other male figures in new ways, and it helps to build a bond that will last as the child ages.

Rough-and-Tumble Play Is Good for Kids

Scientific studies suggest that rough-and-tumble play is key in helping children develop good self-regulation skills. Since rougher play is exciting, it also gives kids the chance to practice how to self-soothe and calm down when playtime is over. The natural bumps and give-and-take of this sort of play also let children practice their responses if, say, their dad accidentally steps on their foot.

Playtime With Dad Is Good for Brain Development

A study done in the United Kingdom focused on children who played with their fathers when the children were between the ages of three months and 24 months. The children's cognitive function was charted on the Mental Development Index. Babies whose fathers had been highly engaged with them at three months scored higher than other babies in their cohort when they were evaluated using the MDI at 24 months.

Playing Helps Dads Understand Their Kids

Children reveal themselves during their play. The way they think, the way they react, how they respond to challenges, and even how they view the world are all exposed during imaginative play. Engaging in this sort of play helps fathers better understand their kids. This is especially true with kids who don't typically express their thoughts and feelings freely.

Kids Will Develop a Larger Vocabulary

One study done in the United States followed preschool children born into low-income households. Children with fathers who spent more time playing with them had larger, more expressive vocabularies at age 5. What isn't known is why. Is it because dads who play with their kids spend more time talking with them overall? Is it because these parents generally devote more time to supporting their kids' growth? No one is sure yet. What we do know is that a child's vocabulary impacts their success in school and beyond.

Your Child Will Be More Confident

Spending time with your kid helps them develop more confidence. One study from Penn State discovered that the more time kids spend with their dads, the higher their self-esteem is. Also, more time spent with their dads in a group setting corresponded with more growth in social skills. This applies to children of every age, including teenagers!

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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