Father Involvement in Early Childhood

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Abstract
It has become very evident in recent years that father involvement in a child’s education has become an important part of early childhood. Studies have shown that fathers are an important part of how successful children will be throughout their school years. The purpose of this paper is to discover the reasons that father involvement is important and what early childhood educators are doing to involve fathers to lead to greater success of overall father involvement. In order to succeed educators need to make sure that there is the name of the father included on all enrollment documents, invite fathers to participate in all of their children activities and involving those fathers who live apart from their children.

Introduction
It seems that we hear more and more each day how fathers need to be more involved in caring for their children. We hear these messages on television, the radio, school, and at home. The word father is defined as a man who exercises paternal care over other persons: paternal protector or provider. Involvement is defined as: to include or contain as a necessary part; the task involves hard work (Dictionary.com, 2011). These definitions certainly do go together well. No one ever said that parenting was easy but to be the best parents possible we need to make sure both parents are involved in their child’s education equally. To be an involved father the research will show that:

Fathers need to have a direct interaction between him and the child. •Accessibility or how available a father is to his child when needed. •Responsibility, managing and providing resources for a child (doctor’s appointments, supplementing family income or child support). •Building of social capital or how fathers provide a support network for children as they grow up to contribute to society (Evans, 2009). These are all ways that fathers can show that they are involved and active participants in their child’s life and education. Through research we can learn how much involvement is enough, what kind of quality time can be spent with a child, how to stay involved in all phases of a child’s life and where educators can start to make sure father involvement is a vital component to quality early childhood programs to ensure a child’s success in school. Research questions about this topic include what efforts are being made by early childhood professionals to involve fathers in their programs and what efforts are leading to greater father involvement in early childhood programs. Research shows that fathers who are highly involved with their children, beginning as early as six months of age, have higher cognitive skills than those infants who have very little father involvement. By one year of age infants continue to have higher cognitive function and are better at solving problems and have higher IQ’s by age three. (Daly, 2002) We can obtain from this research that children who have involved fathers are also more likely to live in cognitively stimulating homes as well. Children of fathers who are actively involved will enjoy school more and have a better attitude toward their education. They will participate in after school activities and continue on to graduate from high school. They will also have better attendance and less behavior problems at school. (Modern Father, 2011) Father involvement also has a large impact on a child’s social competence. They are more likely to have positive relationships with their peers and be well liked. Children are also more likely to show fewer negative emotions during play and be able to solve conflicts by themselves rather than seeking a teacher for help. Father involvement will also decrease negative child development outcomes. Children will engage less in delinquent behaviors such as acting out, disruptive behavior and lying. (Daly, 2002) The impact of early father involvement with their children and learning...
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