Science Daily reports:
Fathers play a surprisingly large role in their children’s development, from language and cognitive growth in toddlerhood to social skills in fifth grade, according to new findings from Michigan State University scholars.
The research provides some of the most conclusive evidence to date of fathers’ importance to children’s outcomes and reinforces the idea that early childhood programs such as Head Start should focus on the whole family, including mother and father alike. The findings are published online in two academic journals, Early Childhood Research Quarterly and Infant and Child Development.
[…]The study found that fathers’ parenting-related stress had a harmful effect on their children’s cognitive and language development when the children were 2 to 3 years old, even when the mothers’ influences were taken into account. This impact varied by gender; fathers’ influence, for example, had a larger effect on boys’ language than girls’ language.
Another key finding: Fathers’ and mothers’ mental health had a similarly significant effect on behavior problems among toddlers. Further, fathers’ mental health had a long-term impact, leading to differences in children’s social skills (such as self-control and cooperation) when the children reached fifth grade. In fact, fathers’ depression symptoms when children were toddlers were more influential on children’s later social skills than were mothers’ symptoms.
In sum, the findings contribute to the small but growing collection of research affirming the effects of fathers’ characteristics and father-child relationship qualities on children’s social development, rather than just the fathers’ residence in the home or presence in the child’s life, according to the paper published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly.
What’s the purpose of this? Well, if you’re watching the Democrat convention, you know that Democrats are great believers in taxing working families, and then giving money to women who have children outside of marriage. In fact, government policy even penalizes married couples, the so-called “marriage penalty”. But this study clearly shows that we need to stop paying women to have fatherless children. What good does it do to talk about helping children, when you pay women to inflict fatherlessness on children? It makes no sense, and it’s not compassionate to the children.
We ought to be promoting marriage with our tax policy, not trying to make the government a substitute for a husband.