In some previous generations, fathers played a limited role in raising their children.

Mothers were expected to keep the kids clean, quiet and out of the way so fathers could do other things.

Today’s fathers have changed the basics of family life because they want to be instrumental in raising their children. Today’s mothers are also different. Whether for self-fulfillment or economic factors, they are in the workforce as well. They celebrate fathers and the positive effects they have on their children.

Being a father sounds like a very serious matter, and it is. But how dads play with their young children has big positive effects. Their goofy teasing and hyper play actually help young children develop, according to new research.

Dads are an important factor in helping their daughters and sons grow self-confidence and developing resilience. They encourage kids differently.

For example, a dad helps a child learn by pretending he doesn’t know how to play a game and letting the child teach him. Mothers tend to guide children toward new skills, according to Katherine Kerns, a professor of psychology at Kent State University in Ohio.

Fathers challenge a child to try difficult tasks that seem hard, while mothers tend to praise them for trying.

Dr. Kerns says dads can be good with babies. They engage them with surprising, warm interaction, while mothers use gentle cooing to communicate.

The U.S. Department of Education reports that father involvement in schools is associated with the likelihood of a student getting higher grades.

This was true for fathers in biological parent families, for stepfathers, and those heading single-parent families.

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