Why Mummy and Daddy Are Both Important in the Child’s Life

Building Blocks Therapy Centre’s 

Why Mummy and Daddy Are Both Important in the Child’s Life

By Jevetta Doyley



With fathers spending more and more time with their children, particularly during the early years, new research has highlighted the importance the role both parents have in the lives of their children.  This has been reflected in Western society in particular, with the introduction of a number of legislations giving fathers the right to paternity leave and even the mindset of parents today, with a drop in believers in traditional family roles and a shift towards shared or co-parenting. 



Many researchers have highlighted the fact that our academic successes are down to parental involvement.  Reynolds et al. (2008) found that parental involvement in children’s learning at ages three and four were associated with higher reading and maths achievement at age 12. They suggest that parental involvement may stimulate more generalised and motivational experiences in children.  Through parental support at home, children learn to value learning and parents set expectations regarding academic success.  As a result of this, children become more mindful of the links between learning at home and learning at school.  Both parents have their own unique role to play when it comes to development.



There are many UK initiatives running to encourage fathers to get involved more, your local libraries are probably running some really interesting ones that you may want to check out.  Mums are often touted as the leading figure in their child’s speech, language and communication, but what about dad’s?  ‘Play’ underpins speech, language and communication skills.  So, your little one’s kitchen skills, elaborate train sets, tea parties and doll collections are actually huge stepping stones in the development of their vocabulary, speech and communication skills.  Dad’s ‘rough-and-tumble’ play is also a little-known precursor to well developed speech and language skills.


Play Skills

Rough-and-tumble play can also teach our children life lessons.  Children often engage in rough and tumble play with fathers.  At first glance this may seem like a fun activity for children with no real skills to be developed, besides a few giggles.  Little do we know that these small (but loud!) play battles with dad help children develop their self esteem.  Researchers have suggested that the sense of achievement when defeating an adult really boosts the child’s confidence and develops the child’s ability to concentrate, engage and persevere for long periods.  Failed attempts at defeating the adult can also teach the child, that it’s okay to lose.



Did you know that mums and dads ask different questions during story-time?  Both types of questions are of importance, mum tends to stick to the factual whilst dads ask more imaginative questions, equally important when developing the child’s comprehension skills.

What were the differences to your parents approaches to play and story-time?

How did they help you growing up?