Parenting Resources

Adolescents Benefit from Quality Time with Dad

According to ChildWelfare.gov,

adolescents who live with their fathers are less likely to experience high risk sexual activity, depression, violence, and are less likely to use drugs.  

  1. Numerous studies have reached the same conclusion: Children with involved fathers have an advantage -- socially and academically -- over children with distant or no relationships with their dads. "We found that fathers who are involved with their children have children with fewer problems," says Maureen Black, PhD, a researcher and professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "That added involvement from a father helps children tremendously."  Her research found better language skills and fewer behavioral problems in children with an actively involved father. Interestingly, this result holds true even if the father doesn't live in the same home as the child -- for example, in divorce situations. It appears that how involved the dad is -- not where he lives in relation to the child -- is the crucial factor.  

  2. According to a study at the University of Illinois, children with fathers who take the time to ask about what their children learned in school and their day-to-day social activities and relationships do better in school than kids who don't have that kind of input or interest.

  3. Researchers at the University of Oxford in England reached the same conclusion about the link between paternal involvement and academic success in their study of 17,000 British school children. Psychologist Eirine Flouri, one of the study's authors, says "An involved father figure reads to his child, takes outings with his child, is interested in his child's education, and takes a role equal to the mother's in managing his child." Children with this type of dad were more likely to get good grades in school, she found. The Role of Fathers With Daughters and Sons, Kristen Finello ; Parents.com

  1. The influence of a father's involvement extends into adolescence in general and young adulthood. Numerous studies find that an active and nurturing style of fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement among adolescents."
    Research also shows positive results of a father's influence on the moral reasoning of adolescents. (www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/fatherhood/fatherhood.pdf)

What can we do?

  1. Continue to stay connected to your adolescent!  

  2. Spend individual time with your sons and daughters – especially doing activities they enjoy.

  3. Convey your values and the rationale for them.  Teens are listening.

  4. Learn your adolescent’s love language and ‘fill their love tank’. See the excellent book by Gary Chapman -  “The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers:  The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively”

  5. Monitor all activities of your adolescent.  Be aware of all their social media accounts, meet their friends, talk to the parents of your teen’s friends.

  6. Help your adolescent set goals – academically, emotionally, spiritually, financially.  Help them develop small steps to meet each goal.  (Adolescents need help with organizational and planning skills.)

  7. Encourage your teen’s healthy interests – sports, hobbies, music, volunteering.

  8. Be home to eat meals with your family.

Click here to return to the main article to see information specific to Newborns and InfantsToddlers and Preschoolers, and Elementary-age Children.