Dads exert strong influence on kids

As a father of two young children, with one more due soon, I was excited to read about how paternity leave may be extended ("Fathers could get longer paternity leave"; last Saturday).

Fathers exert an influence on their children, a power which some fathers are unaware of.

According to research and case studies from around the world, a child's emotional development and well-being are closely associated with the level of engagement by the father.

The studies concluded that a father's love is as important to a child's emotional development as a mother's.

A father's strong presence as a positive role model helps to guide and provide direction for a child's perception, attitude and behaviour.

This is important as masses of information can now be found online and a child can easily become confused and lose sight of the right things to do.

Whether two weeks of paternity leave will be enough is open to debate.

However, the Government is taking a positive step in fostering a strong and healthy familial relationship.

Let us look beyond the policies, do our part and commit ourselves to becoming better and engaged fathers and to be a hero in our children's lives.

Tan Chin Hock

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2016, with the headline 'Dads exert strong influence on kids'. Print Edition | Subscribe