Engaged Fatherhood: What Is It and Why Is It So Important?

Engaged fatherhood is critical both for the development of children and for the benefit of the parent and the family as a whole.
Engaged Fatherhood: What Is It and Why Is It So Important?
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 05 April, 2023

It’s a reality that fathers are increasingly involved in raising their children.  That’s why we want to talk to you about engaged fatherhood: What is it and why is it so important?

What is engaged fatherhood?

When we talk about engaged fatherhood, we’re referring to the equality of both men and women in the care and upbringing of children. This boils down to an equity of tasks according to the amount of time spent inside the home. Also, if working outside the home, when they get home, parenting and childcare are shared equally.

Why is this so important?

The more involved a father is, the better the children will do in school and, likely, avoid risky behaviors as they grow up. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that a good education also depends on other variables. For example, the relationship of both parents with their children, with other family members, and with people in the immediate environment who are involved in the child’s life. Here are some key aspects to take into account.

Real work-life balance at home

A balance between personal, family, and work life must be real for anyone who works and wants to maintain their career and have the time to take care of their family. Both mothers and fathers should have this right. If both do it effectively, it could really help to achieve a work-life balance at home.

A father sitting with his baby girl on his lap.
In the old days, fatherhood was focused on providing money so that “nothing was lacking for their children”. However, if fathers aren’t involved in upbringing, children lack the most important thing: Love.

Presence in family life

The daily presence of parents in their children’s lives is fundamental. Adults must attend to their children’s needs, as well as listen to them and understand them. To this end, they must work on the emotional closeness that’s so important for their development, in addition to being concerned about their education, health, and nutrition.

Educating children with equality

Equality must be worked on at home and from the time children are born. Therefore, we must take into account that our children will be part of society, so it’s essential to establish household chores according to the age and capacity of the child.

Benefits for the father

Of course, exercising their role is fundamental in the lives of fathers. This means not only contributing money if they work but also being present in their children’s lives. So, let’s talk about some of the benefits of committed fatherhood for the father.

Less risk of depression

We know that women can suffer from postpartum depression, but fathers can also experience something similar. For example, when they feel displaced or their expectations haven’t been met. However, being actively involved in the upbringing of their children is one way to prevent this from happening.

Improves bonding with children

The father feels much closer to his children. This is essential to achieve a better connection with the children and for them to know that their father is really by their side whenever they need him. Thus, communication and emotional bonding are improved from birth.

More confidence in their abilities as fathers

Fathers who can do those tasks that in the past were associated with women feel more self-confident and, above all, capable. This is fundamental to eradicating the feeling of being passive members of their own family.

Benefits for the children

A black father and his son playing with building blocks.
As there’s emotional closeness, the father becomes a main reference for his child’s life. What’s more, the child acquires great learning in moments of play.

Of course, in addition to the benefits for the father, there are great advantages for children that also deserve to be highlighted. Don’t miss a thing because it’s essential to keep in mind that the children are the main priority!

Better language development

Children who have their fathers with them develop better language skills. This is because the adult interacts more with their babies and young children, which allows them to incorporate more vocabulary.

Increases learning capacity

Children with engaged parents learn more and better. This is because they feel the confidence and emotional well-being that comes from being emotionally and healthily connected to their parent.

Better behavior and social skills

Children, being more connected to their parents, have better behavior from infancy. In addition, they achieve good development of social skills and even provide them with good emotional control.

Children need to be with their parents

Indeed, there are still many mothers who are more dedicated to everything that has to do with the home and the care and education of little ones. Therefore, work-life balance and equality aren’t yet a reality for many families. But, fortunately, more and more dads are committed to engaged fatherhood and are actively involved in the upbringing and care of their children.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Long, M. (2013) Una nueva paternidad. Editorial: Pedagogía Blanca

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.