Time to affirm and encourage dads

This Father's Day weekend is a good time to affirm the irreplaceable and crucial role of fathers.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin stressed that a father's involvement in a child's life has to begin as early as possible, and that fathers play an important role in the nurturing of children (Dads and kids bond at overnight camp; May 30).

Many studies show the positive effects involved fathers have on their children.

First, fathers are just as important as mothers in influencing how a child develops mentally, socially and emotionally.

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Father-child interactions, from as young as two years old, can either damage or enhance a child's language development, problem-solving abilities and social skills.

Second, fathers who treat the mother of their children with respect, and deal with conflict appropriately, are more likely to have sons who understand how to respect women.

Daughters with involved, respectful fathers understand how men should treat them.

We need to keep encouraging fathers to be more involved parents, and it is heartening to see the Government, organisations like Focus on the Family Singapore, and even the community doing exactly this.

One way to encourage fathers to persevere in being an involved dad is through our Father's Day campaign - "Dad: Our Everyday Hero".

This Father's Day, let us affirm the fathers who are actively involved in their children's lives, as well as encourage those who try to be.

Raphael Zhang and

Samantha Chin

Research & Development Programme Specialists

Focus on the Family Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2017, with the headline 'Time to affirm and encourage dads'. Print Edition | Subscribe