The importance of male role models for developing children

We spoke with Kelli DiDomenico of The Children’s Workshop who outlined the following reasons why male role models are so important for developing children:

Father’s Day is just around the corner, which means it is a great opportunity for families to recognize the importance of fathers or male role models spending quality time with their children. Certainly, there is considerable evidence available to show that the more a father or male role model is involved in his children’s life, the more successful they will be. However, it is key to remember that it is the quality of time, not the quantity of time that will yield those desired positive results.

What are positive effects of Dad’s spending quality time with their children? (according to DCYF reports):

  • Improved behavior in childcare, school and at home
  • Exhibits positive behavior
  • Better grades and overall results in school
  • More value placed on early and continuing education

Quality time vs. Quantity time…
Unfortunately, no one has come up with a clear “magic number” that states if you spend this amount of time with your child, it will constitute quality time and you’re covered. But there are tips and guidelines that Dads can think about when they brooch this topic.

  • Bonding time – You want to ensure that you, as a male role model, are spending enough time with your child in order to allow for bonding time and build that lasting rapport with your child.
  • Teachable and Fun Memories – Take the time and opportunity to spend time doing fun activities, such as taking a walk together, riding bikes or enjoy reading a story. All of these moments have the opportunity to be teachable moments. It gives the Dad the time to teach values and the differences between what’s right and wrong.
  • Focus on your child’s everyday needs – It’s great to spend quality time doing fun things with your child, but don’t forget about the everyday needs of each of your children. It’s important to set time aside for these activities as well.
  • Spend time reading
  • Homework
  • learning the value of being a good friend, sibling or how to be a contributing community member

The list can be endless, but it allows for Dads to get a hint of all the wonderful benefits their children can learn just by spending quality time with them.

Importance of all Male roles spending quality time with their families…

  • Healthy Relationships – There are so many ways to celebrate Father’s Day with all those wonderful dads out there! But this can also be a time to encourage healthy relationships between children and the other men in their lives as well. As educators, we can try to incorporate fathers into our events, curriculum and daily interactions. Single mothers who work to provide the best growth and development of their children can seek to enroll in organizations, teams and clubs that present their children with much needed support from male leaders.
  • Importance of Male Educators – The amount of male educators has grown over the years, but there is still a definite need for more. The presence of men in childcare centers and schools increases the opportunity for kids to form trusting relationships that they may otherwise lack. In addition to dedicated mothers and female educators, it is evident that male role models offer much-needed support in the most important years of a child’s life. It is important for children to see that the nurturing and creative qualities of a great educator can be present in both men and women.

The gender roles in families are constantly changing with our society. There are less definitive characteristics of child-rearing for mothers and fathers. Mom can coach baseball and dad can cook dinner each night. But the role of each gender in the development of positive relationships in children is constant.

Trust formed at a young age with adult men and women leads to a greater understanding of equality and self-esteem as adults. Children deserve the presence of positive role models and all adults that make it a priority to spend quality time with them. Adults should seek to introduce diverse opportunities for children to grow in positive relationships with men and Dads as much as they do with women.