How Can I, as a Father, Be a Good Leader for My Child?
By Devon Bandison

How Can I, as a Father, Be a Good Leader for My Child?

ASK THE EXPERTS  

Being an active, present father has some underlying benefits for your kids, including children having good health, performing better academically and socially, and having a good leadership role model. 


If you ask parents today whether television’s portrayal of the “American Family” resembles their own experience, many would shake their heads no. Yet, despite the fact that sitcoms depict a household scene that’s very different from the one most of us know, the underlying message is that the father is a leader—loving, committed, connected, responsible—even when he sometimes fumbles along the way.


Here are a few things to keep in mind for men who want to become better fathers and life leaders for their kids:
 

Fathers Matter

Researchers have proven that children with active fathers in their lives perform better academically, behaviorally and socially. A father’s involvement in schools is associated with the higher likelihood of a student getting mostly As. This was true for fathers in biological parent families, for stepfathers, and for fathers heading single-parent families.

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Fathers Affect Their Children’s Health

Several studies show strong correlations to healthy eating habits, fitness, and a positive body image among boys and girls whose fathers were actively a part of their lives. Studies also show that a father’s inactivity can be a strong predictor of children’s inactivity, and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth indicates that obese children are more likely to live in father-absent homes.
 

Fatherhood Is Leadership

Like leadership, fatherhood isn’t about authority, position, or title. Fatherhood is about influence—how one life can influence another. A father’s actions and example directly influence the lives of his children and family.
 

Today’s Father is Present

Today’s father is more active in his children’s lives than at any other time in history. The amount of time the modern father spends with his kids has tripled since 1965. 

But being present doesn’t mean being perfect. There are times when every father has doubts. Accepting vulnerability is part of being a good father and leader. Men are sometimes guarded about their emotions and are under tremendous pressure to behave a certain way or conform, which sets up an internal conflict, but being vulnerable is courageous. Vulnerability also means taking advantage of resources to become a better you. 


One life can influence another, and fathers can strongly influence their children’s lives, their grandchildren’s lives, and the lives of the children around them. It’s important that fathers realize how much they matter, and develop the skills to love and lead children into healthy, happy lives.

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